Outcomes of Different Laser Types in Laser-assisted Stapedotomy: A Systematic Review

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To assess hearing results and complications following primary stapedotomy in otosclerosis patients, comparing different laser types.

Data Sources

Pubmed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and Scopus.

Study Selection

A systematic bibliographic search was conducted to identify all original articles, comparing hearing outcome between different lasers used for fenestration in stapedotomy.

Data Extraction

Directness of evidence and risk of bias of the selected articles were assessed. Studies with low or moderate directness of evidence, or high risk of bias, were not further analyzed.

Data Synthesis

The absolute risks, risk differences, and 95% confidence intervals were extracted only for the studies with high directness of evidence and moderate to low risk of bias.


A total of 383 unique articles were retrieved. Four studies provided direct evidence, whereas all studies carried moderate to high risk of bias. After exclusion of the studies that did not provide direct evidence and/or carried high risk of bias, 2 studies were considered eligible for data extraction. This best available evidence shows a slightly better air-bone gap closure for CO2 laser compared to potassium titanyl phosphate laser, but the clinical relevance is unclear. The risk difference of 28.1% [95% confidence interval, 22.8, 33.4] between CO2 and erbium yttrium aluminium garnet favors CO2 laser. Unfortunately, this current best available evidence is insufficient to draw any definitive conclusions on which laser to use for fenestration in stapedotomy.

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