Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine
Perilymphatic Fistula After Penetrating Ear Trauma
- Author(s): Kita, Ashley E.
- Kim, Irene
- Ishiyama, Gail
- Ishiyama, Akira
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/cpcem.2019.1.37404
Pneumolabyrinth, defined as air within the labyrinth on high-resolution computed tomography, suggests that a perilymphatic fistula (PLF) is present. PLF describes an abnormal communication between the middle and inner ear, and can result in deafness, vertigo, and imbalance. In the setting of a penetrating injury to the temporal bone or inner ear, pneumolabyrinth should trigger prompt otolaryngology consultation and urgent surgical exploration. We describe a case in which a 49-year-old male presented with a traumatic PLF secondary to penetrating ear injury. Imaging demonstrated extensive pneumolabyrinth. Despite delay in diagnosis, expeditious surgical intervention resulted in successful preservation of inner ear function.