EAONO 2014: Bringing the otology world together

“The theme of our workshop is based on the European Guidelines which evaluate the highest quality evidence and most current data about a diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment modality”, explained Franco Trabalzini, current President of the Academy, to the group of colleagues. “Why do we need these guidelines? The first and most important reason is to ensure we continue to improve the care for every patient, placing the patient at the core of everything we do. This then allows us make recommendations through the risk/benefit based evidence and ultimately standardize our clinical practice. Finally but just as importantly, they provide a professional and uniform approach to any consequent medico-legal issues.” he added. Franco Trabalzini is director of the Otology and Skull-Base Surgery unit at the Santa Maria alle Scotte General Hospital. He passed leadership of the organization for the next two-year period to his successor Osman Nuri Özgirgin from Ankara, Turkey at the end of the congress.

The congress participants were able to enjoy a fully interactive event through a specifically dedicated website that included the real-time scientific program. A quick look at the website gives a good idea of the vast range of workshop content on offer, organized as didactic courses, round tables, lectures, free papers, focus groups, and study and working group sessions. The online program gave participants an easy-to-use tool to create their own list of favorites to fully personalize the experience over the congress days. The official EAONO 2014 website also gave access to ePosters and course and round table abstracts that had been sent to the secretary and that can be consulted at any time.

From a hands-on anatomy cadaver workshop, to courses on vertigo, and the future of cochlear implants

Two courses were proposed on the first day of the congress. The first was a hands-on cadaver workshop for otology and the skull base at the San Francesco di Sales ICLO - Anatomy Course Centre in the City of Arezzo, coordinated by Jacques Magnan from France and run by instructors with solid experience such as Daniel Kaplan, Sergey Kosyakov, Dirk Kunst, Jacques Magnan himself, Prepageran Narayanan, Nuri Özgirgin, Ronen Perez, Vlad Ruzovkov, Marcin Szymanski, Franco Trabalzini and Andrzej Zarowski. The second focused on the management of vertigo, and was presented by David Zee, Herman Kingma, Daniele Nuti, Bela Buki, Jose Antonio Lopez Escamez, Augusto Casani, Mans Magnusson, Marco Mandala, Paolo Vannucchi and Rudi Pecci, and chaired by Nuri Özgirgin.

During the opening ceremony at the Teatro dei Rinnovati, lectures were given from the European panel under the title “Standing on the shoulders of Giants” (see picture above), by the President of the Congress, Franco Trabalzini and Honorary President, Gregorio Babighian. A memorial address for Prof. Edoardo Arslan was given by Ettore Cassandro and introduced the speech on auditory neuropathy by Rosamaria Santarelli, a close collaborator of the late Prof. Arslan. The specialist highlighted the existence of three types of lesions, i.e. lesions of auditory or neural nerve fibers, of synapses, and of internal hair cells or receptors. During her presentation, she mentioned that infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units are at a higher risk of hearing loss, referring to incidence data between +1.5% and +3.2%, since a percentage of about 5.6% of those who do not pass hearing screening in this department present abnormal ABR results and otoacoustic emissions consistent with an electrophysiological profile of auditory neuropathy, and that post-mortem examination of the temporal bone of neonates who died shows extensive damage to hair cells, with a higher frequency of selective loss of internal ciliated cells in premature infants versus those born at term.