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Rare Upper Airway Anomalies. - Paediatric respiratory reviews
A broad spectrum of congenital upper airway anomalies can occur as a result of errors during embryologic development. In this review, we will describe the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management strategies for a few select, rare congenital malformations of this system. The diagnostic tools used in workup of these disorders range from prenatal tests to radiological imaging, swallowing evaluations, indirect or direct laryngoscopy, and rigid bronchoscopy. While these congenital defects can occur in isolation, they are often associated with disorders of other organ systems or may present as part of a syndrome. Therefore workup and treatment planning for patients with these disorders often involves a team of multiple specialists, including paediatricians, otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, speech pathologists, gastroenterologists, and geneticists.Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Superior canal dehiscence length and location influences clinical presentation and audiometric and cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential testing. - Audiology & neuro-otology
Superior canal dehiscence (SCD) is caused by an absence of bony covering of the arcuate eminence or posteromedial aspect of the superior semicircular canal. However, the clinical presentation of SCD syndrome varies considerably, as some SCD patients are asymptomatic and others have auditory and/or vestibular complaints. In order to determine the basis for these observations, we examined the association between SCD length and location with: (1) auditory and vestibular signs and symptoms; (2) air conduction (AC) loss and air-bone gap (ABG) measured by pure-tone audiometric testing, and (3) cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP) thresholds. 104 patients (147 ears) underwent SCD length and location measurements using a novel method of measuring bone density along 0.2-mm radial CT sections. We found that patients with auditory symptoms have a larger dehiscence (median length: 4.5 vs. 2.7 mm) with a beginning closer to the ampulla (median location: 4.8 vs. 6.4 mm from ampulla) than patients with no auditory symptoms (only vestibular symptoms). An increase in AC threshold was found as the SCD length increased at 250 Hz (95% CI: 1.7-4.7), 500 Hz (95% CI: 0.7-3.5) and 1,000 Hz (95% CI: 0.0-2.5), and an increase in ABG as the SCD length increased at 250 Hz (95% CI: 2.0-5.3), 500 Hz (95% CI: 1.6-4.6) and 1,000 Hz (95% CI: 1.3-3.3) was also seen. Finally, a larger dehiscence was associated with lowered cVEMP thresholds at 250 Hz (95% CI: -4.4 to -0.3), 500 Hz (95% CI: -4.1 to -1.0), 750 Hz (95% CI: -4.2 to -0.7) and 1,000 Hz (95% CI: -3.6 to -0.5) and a starting location closer to the ampulla at 250 Hz (95% CI: 1.3-5.1), 750 Hz (95% CI: 0.2-3.3) and 1,000 Hz (95% CI: 0.6-3.5). These findings may help to explain the variation of signs and symptoms seen in patients with SCD syndrome.
Identification of inputs to olivocochlear neurons using transneuronal labeling with pseudorabies virus (PRV). - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO
Olivocochlear (OC) neurons respond to sound and provide descending input that controls processing in the cochlea. The identities of neurons in the pathways providing inputs to OC neurons are incompletely understood. To explore these pathways, the retrograde transneuronal tracer pseudorabies virus (Bartha strain, expressing green fluorescent protein) was used to label OC neurons and their inputs in guinea pigs. Labeling of OC neurons began 1Â day after injection into the cochlea. On day 2 (and for longer survival times), transneuronal labeling spread to the cochlear nucleus, inferior colliculus, and other brainstem areas. There was a correlation between the numbers of these transneuronally labeled neurons and the number of labeled medial (M) OC neurons, suggesting that the spread of labeling proceeds mainly via synapses on MOC neurons. In the cochlear nucleus, the transneuronally labeled neurons were multipolar cells including the subtype known as planar cells. In the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus, transneuronally labeled neurons were of two principal types: neurons with disc-shaped dendritic fields and neurons with dendrites in a stellate pattern. Transneuronal labeling was also observed in pyramidal cells in the auditory cortex and in centers not typically associated with the auditory pathway such as the pontine reticular formation, subcoerulean nucleus, and the pontine dorsal raphe. These data provide information on the identity of neurons providing input to OC neurons, which are located in auditory as well as non-auditory centers.
Auditory brainstem circuits that mediate the middle ear muscle reflex. - Trends in amplification
The middle ear muscle (MEM) reflex is one of two major descending systems to the auditory periphery. There are two middle ear muscles (MEMs): the stapedius and the tensor tympani. In man, the stapedius contracts in response to intense low frequency acoustic stimuli, exerting forces perpendicular to the stapes superstructure, increasing middle ear impedance and attenuating the intensity of sound energy reaching the inner ear (cochlea). The tensor tympani is believed to contract in response to self-generated noise (chewing, swallowing) and non-auditory stimuli. The MEM reflex pathways begin with sound presented to the ear. Transduction of sound occurs in the cochlea, resulting in an action potential that is transmitted along the auditory nerve to the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem (the first relay station for all ascending sound information originating in the ear). Unknown interneurons in the ventral cochlear nucleus project either directly or indirectly to MEM motoneurons located elsewhere in the brainstem. Motoneurons provide efferent innervation to the MEMs. Although the ascending and descending limbs of these reflex pathways have been well characterized, the identity of the reflex interneurons is not known, as are the source of modulatory inputs to these pathways. The aim of this article is to (a) provide an overview of MEM reflex anatomy and physiology, (b) present new data on MEM reflex anatomy and physiology from our laboratory and others, and (c) describe the clinical implications of our research.
Stereocilia-staircase spacing is influenced by myosin III motors and their cargos espin-1 and espin-like. - Nature communications
Hair cells tightly control the dimensions of their stereocilia, which are actin-rich protrusions with graded heights that mediate mechanotransduction in the inner ear. Two members of the myosin-III family, MYO3A and MYO3B, are thought to regulate stereocilia length by transporting cargos that control actin polymerization at stereocilia tips. We show that eliminating espin-1 (ESPN-1), an isoform of ESPN and a myosin-III cargo, dramatically alters the slope of the stereocilia staircase in a subset of hair cells. Furthermore, we show that espin-like (ESPNL), primarily present in developing stereocilia, is also a myosin-III cargo and is essential for normal hearing. ESPN-1 and ESPNL each bind MYO3A and MYO3B, but differentially influence how the two motors function. Consequently, functional properties of different motor-cargo combinations differentially affect molecular transport and the length of actin protrusions. This mechanism is used by hair cells to establish the required range of stereocilia lengths within a single cell.
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