Aim of the present study was to investigate the tonotopic reorganization of the primary auditory cortex in otosclerotic patients following functional stapedioplasty. Characteristics of auditory cortex activation have been evaluated in a series of 10 otosclerotic patients before and after surgery. In these patients, a magnetoencephalographic recording of evoked magnetic fields has been performed by means of tone-burst monoaural stimulation with frequency octaves between 250 and 2000 Hz. Brain topography of cortex response generators (wave N100m) in patients with otosclerosis has been compared with that observed in a control group of 10 healthy subjects: changes before and after surgery have also been correlated with the functional result as far as concerns improvement in hearing. A significant reduction has been observed in the cortical tonotopic extension in response to the acoustic stimulus in patients "pre-surgery" in comparison with controls: after surgery, tonotopic mapping showed an increase, dimensions becoming comparable to those in control subjects. This increase in size was found to be significantly correlated with duration of the post-operative period. Data emerging from the present study suggest that the cortical auditory areas in man are involved in a "plastic" functional reorganization following changes in the receptor or peripheral deprivation. Reduction in the cortical tonotopic mapping resulting from prolonged lowering of auditory "input" is modified by reorganization of the cortex after the recovery of auditory function: this process occurs over a period of a few weeks.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2003|
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