A prospective study of electrocochleography in patients with clinically suspected perilymph fistula was undertaken to determine its predictive value in that disorder. One hundred forty-four patients suspected of having perilymph fistula had electrocochleography performed - 34 of these (39 ears) had exploratory tympanotomy. Of the 19 ears with normal preoperative summating potential/action potential (SP/AP) ratio, ten had perilymph fistula identified at the time of surgery. Of the 20 ears with abnormal SP/AP ratio, 16 had perilymph fistula confirmed at exploration, 18 had resolution of symptoms after oval window and round membrane grafting, and only one ear had postoperative persistence of the abnormal SP/AP ratio. This study suggests that an abnormal SP/AP ratio is not only predictive of endolymphatic hydrops, but also of perilymph fistula (both problems of inner ear fluid imbalance). This study also suggests that, while abnormal SP/AP ratio is fairly specific for inner ear fluid imbalance, it is not sensitive.
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