Heterogeneity in Reported Outcome Measures after Surgery in Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome - A Systematic Literature Review

Mira E. Ossen*, Robert Stokroos, Herman Kingma, Joost van Tongeren, Vincent Van Rompaey, Yasin Temel, Raymond van de Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) can be treated surgically in patients with incapacitating symptoms. However, the ideal treatment has not been determined.

Objectives: This systematic literature review aims to assess available evidence on the comparative effectiveness and risks of different surgical treatments regarding: (1) symptom improvement; (2) objectively measurable auditory and vestibular function; (3) adverse effects, and (4) length of hospitalization.

Search method and data sources: A systematic database search according to PRISMA statement was conducted on Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane library. In addition, reference lists were searched. No correspondence with the authors was established. The last search was conducted on June 9, 2017.

Study eligibility criteria: Retrospective and prospective cohort studies were held applicable under the condition that they investigated the association between a surgical treatment method and the relief of vestibular and/or auditory symptoms. Only studies including quantitative assessment of the pre-to postoperative success rate of a surgical treatment method were included. Case reports, reviews, meta-analysis, and studies not published in English, Dutch, or German were excluded.

Data collection and analysis: The first author searched literature and extracted data; the first and last analyzed the data.

Main results: Seventeen studies (354 participants, 367 dehiscences) met the eligibility criteria and were grouped according to surgical approach. Seven combinations of surgical approaches and methods for addressing the dehiscence were identified: plugging, resurfacing, or a combination of both through the middle fossa (middle fossa approach); plugging, resurfacing, or a combination of both through the mastoid (transmastoid approach); round window reinforcement through the ear canal (transcanal approach). Several studies showed high internal validity, but quality was often downgraded due to study design (1). Outcome measures and timing of postsurgical assessment varied among studies, making it unfeasible to pool data to perform a meta-analysis.

Conclusion: A standardized protocol including outcome measures and timeframes is needed to compare the effectiveness and safety SCDS treatments. It should include symptom severity assessments and changes in vestibular and auditory function before and after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number347
Number of pages21
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017


  • superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • middle fossa
  • transmastoid
  • plugging
  • resurfacing

Cite this