Until recently, imaging of the temporal bone prior to middle ear surgery has
been considered mandatory; some national ENT societies even recommend it in
However, the rationale supporting this rule is questionable as there has never been any evaluation of the extent to which temporal bone imaging modifies the diagnosis, helps in choosing the surgical strategy and diminishes the rate of complications. Besides the medical considerations, further aspects like the additional costs should be taken into account.
Not only ENT surgeons, but also a jurist and an ethicist have contributed to this volume of ORL, elucidating the question of whether to use imaging prior to surgery from different viewpoints. ENT surgeons, radiologists and physicians involved in middle ear surgery will find this publication instrumental in decision-making for the benefit of their patients as well as in the improvement of cost-effectiveness.