January 29, 2012
School of Medicine, Kochi
Dr. Akanksha Saxena, postgraduate student at the Amrita School of Medicine recently won the Dr. Sandra Nisha DeSouza PG Paper Award at the Conference of the Association of Otorhinolaryngologists of India in Allahabad.
The award for her paper titled Skull Base Osteomyelitis: Treatment Protocols and Outcomes included a silver medal for Akanksha.
Akanksha’s paper reviewed 15 cases of skull-base osteomyelitis; these patients were all referred to the Department of ENT at the Amrita School of Medicine for treatment.
Of the 15 patients, 14 were diabetic.
Skull-base osteomyelitis is a condition caused by bacterial or fungal attack that results in inflammation of the temporal bone, which is situated at the sides and the base of the skull.
“The condition is a known complication of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and patients with poorly controlled diabetes become victims of skull-base osteomyelitis,” explained Dr. Akanksha.
“It can cause a wide variety of symptoms which range from ear pain to multiple cranial nerve palsies,” she added.
The combination of skull-base osteomyelitis and diabetes is very difficult to treat. The diagnosis is often elusive. Symptoms such as vague ear pain or severe headache which causes sleep disturbances at night are warning signals.
In many cases, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to treat the overall medical condition. The treatment includes strict diet control for diabetes, temporal bone imaging, ear swab culture, regular aural toilet with ear packing, topical ear drops and systemic antibiotics.
The treatment is usually prolonged. Failure to start treatment on time may result in multiple cranial nerve palsy, intractable ear ache or even death.
“Proper and timely investigations help in starting treatment on time,” emphasized the scholar.
Besides skull-base osteomyelitis, Dr. Akanksha research interests include hearing reconstruction techniques performed at Amrita and its outcomes.
A first-year primary DNB student of the Department of ENT at the Amrita School of Medicine, Dr. Akanksha joined Amrita in August 2011.
She gratefully acknowledged the support and guidance received from her mentors including Drs. Madhumita Kumar, Bini Faizal, Vineeth Viswam, Unnikrishnan Menon and Bharath N. S. of the Department of ENT.