Otology Jubilee: 150 Years of “Archive fur Ohrenheilunde”

The conference in Halle, Germany, was organized to celebrate 150th anniversary of the magazine “Archive fur Ohrenheilunde”, which was later renamed as “European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology” and is still published under this name. Therefore, apart from scientific sessions devoted to general sciences, diagnostics, surgery and implantology, the program also contained a session on the history of the magazine.

There was time to recall an article by D.T. Kempa from 1979 titled “Evidence of mechanical nonlinearity and frequency selective wave amplification in the cochlea”. For the first time, it covered the subject of otoacustic emissions of distortion products and spontaneous emissions. It is one of the most often quoted works in this magazine until now. The scope of conference subjects was very wide. A lot of attention was paid to medical imaging. There were presented among others modern methods used in the diagnostics of Meniere’s disease.

Magnetic resonance allows diagnosing slight abnormalities in the inner ear and vestibulocochlear nerve. Whereas thanks to cone-beam computed tomography it is possible to see the position of a cochlear implant. This method allows not only precise imaging of the implanted electrode in the cochlea but also gaining the image free from any artefacts caused by metallic electrode contacts, which often produce problems in traditional tomography. Unfortunately, the results of those methods are transient and therefore they are not very effective.

Another important subject brought up during the conference was tinnitus. It was stressed that the techniques of the magnetic and electric stimulation of the brain (i.a. repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation) constitute an immense number of possible therapies for subjects with tinnitus.

However, what raises most hopes is neurofeedback and acoustic stimulation. When tinnitus concur with a hearing disorder, good results can be reached thanks to the middle ear, cochlear and brainstem implantation.

During the conference in Halle the Institute of Phisiology and Pathology of Hearing was represented by the team of 4 people (Wiktor Jedrzejczak, Ph.D., Agnieszka Pollak, Ph.D., Maciej Mrówka, Ph.D., Mateusz Rusiniak, M.A.). They presented 14 works in total. One of them was awarded. Its title was “Tonotophic organization of the brain – fMRI tests”. The project was submitted by the Institute team composed of T. Wolak, K. Cieśla, M. Rusiniak, M. Lewandowska, A. Pluta, P. Skarżyński, A. Lorens, H. Skarżyński. Other Polish institutes (from Gdansk, Szczecin, Lodz) presented at the conference six works in total. Compering to their output, the substantial contribution of the team from the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing to the conference was impressive.