Longitudinal cognitive and neurobehavioral functional outcomes before and after repairing otic capsule dehiscence

P. Ashley Wackym, Carey D. Balaban, Heather T. Mackay, Scott J. Wood, Christopher J. Lundell, Dale M. Carter, David A. Siker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: Patients with peripheral vestibular dysfunction because of gravitational receptor asymmetries display signs of cognitive dysfunction and are assumed to have neurobehavioral sequelae. This was tested with pre-And postoperatively quantitative measurements in three cohort groups with superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SSCDS) symptoms with: 1) superior canal dehiscence (SCD) repaired via a middle cranial fossa craniotomy and canal plugging only; 2) otic capsule defects not visualized with imaging (no-iOCD) repaired with round window reinforcement (RWR) only; or 3) both SCD plugging and subsequent development of no-iOCD followed by RWR. Study Design: Prospective patient series. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: There were 13 adult and 4 pediatric patients with SSCDS who had completion of neuropsychology test batteries pre-And every 3 months postoperatively. Eight patients had no-iOCD and RWR exclusively, 5 had SCD and plugging exclusively, and 4 had both SCD plugging and then development of no-iOCD with RWR. These cohorts included SSCDS with 2 different dehiscence locations. Interventions: Completion of a neuropsychology test battery preoperatively and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postoperatively that included: Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI); Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT FSIQ) including average verbal (crystallized intelligence) and visual (fluid intelligence); Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), including the four domains of verbal memory, visual memory, attention/ concentration, and working memory; and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). The Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) were also completed to assess the impact of their disease on activities pre-And postoperatively. Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative and statistical analysis of their cognitive and neurobehavioral function. Results: The pattern of differences between the SCD group and the no-iOCD group from WRAML verbal, visual, and attention test performance indicate different postoperative clinical trajectories. For the WRAML, there was a statistically significant improvement for visual memory and verbal memory for the no-iOCD only and both (SCD and subsequent no-iOCD) groups, but no mean improvement for the SCD only group. By contrast, the no-iOCD group had significantly lower scores on the WRAML attention test preoperatively, but they recovered postoperatively to match the other groups. The preoperative findings and postoperative outcomes did not differ significantly among patient groups on the WRAML working memory test, D-KEFS motor scores, D-KEFS number and letter scores, or Wide Range Intelligence Test scores. There was a significant decrease in the BDI for all groups. The IQ scores were unchanged. There was a statistically significant improvement in the DHI and HIT-6 scores postoperatively in all groups. Conclusions: There was a marked overall improvement in cognitive and neurobehavioral function postoperatively. Variability may result from duration of underlying disease before intervention. The initial decrement or delay in performance improvement measured in several patients may represent brain reorganization. Greater longitudinal data and greater subject numbers are necessary to better understand and optimize cognitive recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Memory
  • Migraine
  • Otic capsule dehiscence syndrome
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury.


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal cognitive and neurobehavioral functional outcomes before and after repairing otic capsule dehiscence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this