Mechanical versus CO2 laser occlusion of the posterior semicircular canal in humans

Patrick J. Antonelli, Larry B. Lundy, Jack M. Kartush, Don L. Burgio, Malcolm D. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of mechanical and laser-assisted posterior semicircular canal occlusion (PCO) for the treatment of intractable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Twelve consecutive patients with intractable BPPV underwent PCO by three surgeons, six with mechanical PCO and six with CO2 laser-assisted PCO. PCO eliminated positional vertigo in all patients treated with the laser and five of six patients treated without the laser. Dysequilibrium was present in all patients immediately postoperatively. This resolved in all patients treated with the CO2 laser but in only two of six patients treated without the laser (p = 0.03). Patients were hospitalized for dysequilibrium for an average of 5.2 and 2.8 days for the mechanical and laser-assisted groups, respectively. Preoperative and postoperative hearing was not significantly different between the groups. No clinically significant postoperative hearing loss was encountered in either group. These results suggest that PCO is an effective treatment for intractable BPPV. The incidence of dysequilibrium that persists following PCO may be reduced by using the CO2 laser to seal the membranous canal prior to occluding the bony canal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Posterior semicircular canal
  • Posterior semicircular canal occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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