Top 100 Study Items for the Otolaryngology (ENT) Board Examination

We’ve compiled over 1,100 ENT Questions that are specific to topics covered on the board exam as well as the re-certification exams.

We asked our writers to identify the top 100 ENT exam topics:

  1. Branchial arches, clefts, and derived structures
  2. Anatomy: Larynx, temporal Bone, paranasal sinuses, orbit, neck, skull base, nose, etc.
  3. Fascial planes, potential spaces of head & neck: – Anatomical boundaries, contents, tumors, radiologic anatomy, diagnostic workup, etc.
  4. Cranial Nerves: Afferent & efferent divisions; innervation pathways, innervation of parotid gland, submandibular gland, lacrimal gland, oral & nasal mucus glands, taste pathways, blink reflex, acoustic reflex, cough reflex, etc.
  5. Basic Science & Organ Physiology: Vestibular system, auditory system, visual system, olfactory system, thyroid function, parathyroid function, pituitary function, immune system/allergic pathways, swallowing physiology, coagulation pathways, etc.
  6. Head & Neck Syndromes:
  7. Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Types, causes, diagnostics, audiogram patterns, medical & surgical treatment, sudden sensorineural hearing loss, noise induced hearing loss, congenital hearing loss, Meniere’s disease, vestibular schwannoma, ototoxicity (agents, mechanism of action, treatment), etc.
  8. Conductive Hearing Loss: Types, causes, diagnostics, audiogram patterns, medical & surgical treatment, otosclerosis, congenital malleus fixation, ossicular discontinuity, tympanic perforation, middle ear tumors, etc.
  9. Otologic Surgery: Tympanoplasty, ossicular chain reconstruction, stapedotomy, endolymphatic sac decompression, mastoidectomy, labyrinthectomy, facial nerve decompression, Fisch approaches, etc.
  10. Temporal Bone Lesions & Tumors: Types, patterns, medical & surgical management, cholesteatoma, cholesterol granulomas, vestibular schwannomas, glomus tumors, fibrous dysplasia, etc.
  11. Cerebellopontine Angle Lesions: Presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic tests, medical treatment options, surgical treatment & approaches.
  12. Vertigo: Causes, differential diagnosis, diagnostic tests (ENG, dynamic posturography, VEMP), medical & surgical treatment, Meniere’s disease, Migraine-related, Labyrinthitis, Vestibular Neuritis, Mal de debarquement, Perilymphatic fistula, Superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome, etc.
  13. Tinnitus: Types, associated conditions/pathology, diagnostic testing, treatment modalities.
  14. Audiogram: Pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, tympanogram, acoustic reflex, acoustic reflex decay, speech discrimination, speech reception threshold, Stenger’s test, tuning fork tests.
  15. Auditory Brainstem Response Testing: Indications, patterns, wave latencies, etc
  16. Hearing Amplification: Hearing aid structure, types of hearing aids, indications, etc.
  17. Cochlear Implantation: Indications, treatment options, implant design, surgical procedure, complications & management, etc.
  18. Pediatric hearing loss: Post-natally acquired vs congenital, acquired intrauterine causes vs. hereditary causes, syndromic vs. non-syndromic, enlarged vestibular aqueduct, Mondini’s, Michel aplasia, Scheibe aplasia, etc.
  19. Pediatric Head & Neck Syndromes/Sequences: Types, features, transmission patterns, etc.
  20. Aerodigestive Developmental Anomalies: Laryngeal clefts, esophageal fistula/atresia, vascular rings and aortic malformations, etc.
  21. Cleft Lip & Palate
  22. Choanal Atresia
  23. Microtia & Aural Atresia – Causes, syndromes, medical management, surgical management strategies and options.
  24. Congenital Cysts – Branchial cleft cysts/sinuses/fistulae, thyroglossal duct cysts, dermoid cysts, encephaloceles, gliomas, etc.
  25. Acute and Chronic otitis media: types of otitis media, management indications, complications of otitis media
  26. Pediatric tonsillitis: acute vs. chronic, differential diagnosis, medical vs. surgical treatment and indications, complications, etc.
  27. Pediatric Airway: epiglottitis, croup, tracheitis, laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, subglottic hemangioma, etc.
  28. Subglottic/Tracheal Stenosis: Symptoms, workup, medical & surgical treatment, types of resections, tracheal mobilization techniques & releases, etc.
  29. Pediatric Foreign Body Ingestion & Aspiration: Esophageal foreign body, tracheobronchial foreign body, caustic ingestion, etc
  30. Voice Disorders: Functional (spasmodic, adductor, abductor, mixed) vs organic causes, etc.
  31. Vocal cord paralysis: Unilateral vs. bilateral, workup, management (short vs long term), etc.
  32. Aspiration: Causes, workup, medical and surgical treatment, surgical management of intractable aspiration, etc.
  33. Vocal Cord Lesions: Presentation, diagnostics, medical vs. surgical treatment, nodules, cysts, polyps, sulci, vocal process granulomas, Reinke’s edema, papillomatosis, laryngocele, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, Wegener’s granulomatosis, etc.
  34. Salivary Gland Diseases: Sialadenitis, sialolithiasis, Sjogren’s and other autoimmune/systemic disorders, ranulae, benign salivary gland tumors; presentation, workup, diagnostic testing, medicla & surgical treatment, etc.
  35. Disorders of Oral Cavity/Pharynx: Mucosal lesions, malignancy risk, mucosal infections; leukoplakia, erythroplasia, lichen planus, oral hairy leukoplakia, candidiasis, midline rhomboid glossitis, hairy tongue, etc.
  36. Esophageal Disorders: Dysphagia, esophageal dismotility, diverticulae, gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal tumors, etc; presentation, differential diagnosis, workup (barium swallow, manometry, pH monitoring, endoscopy, etc).
  37. Oral Cavity Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  38. Oropharyngeal Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  39. Hypopharyngeal Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  40. Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  41. Laryngeal Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  42. Sinonasal Cancer: Sites, subsites, TNM staging, early vs. late stage treatment standards, supporting literature.
  43. Cutaneous Malignancies: Types, TNM staging, medical & surgical treatment
  44. Salivary Gland Tumors: Types, TNM staging, medical & surgical treatment
  45. Endocrine Malignancies: Thyroid cancer, parathyroid tumors, MEN syndromes, diagnosis, workup, staging, medical & surgical management, etc.
  46. Pediatric Malignancies: Types, TNM staging, medical & surgical treatment.
  47. Neurogenic/Vascular Tumors and Malformations: Paragangliomas (types, classification), Schwannomas (vagal, sympathetic chain, etc), hemangiomas, vascular malformations, arteriovenous malformations, etc.
  48. Head & Neck Chemotherapy: Anti-neoplastic agents, indications, adverse effects, etc.
  49. Head & Neck Radiation Therapy: Types, indications, fractionation, complications, etc.
  50. Wound Care: Treatment approach, management of fistulae, exposed carotid, reconstruction plates, neck defects, regional flaps, etc
  51. Neck Mass – Approach, examination, differential diagnosis (by age group, risk factors etc), workup (imaging features, histopathology), management, etc.
  52. Thyroid Disorders: Hyper/hypothyroidism, Thyroid function studies, Thyroiditis, symptoms, diagnostic workup, medical & surgical treatment, etc.
  53. Parathyroid Disorders: Hyper/Hypoparathyroidism, hypo/hypercalcemia, symptoms, diagnostic workup, medical & surgical treatment.
  54. Histopathology: Salivary tumors, neurogenic tumors, epithelial tumors, benign mixed tumors, lymphomas, thyroid tumors, osseus tumors, tumor markers, etc.
  55. MRI: T1, T2, and contrast features, temporal bone lesions, CPA lesions, parapharyngeal (pre- & post-styloid tumors), venous/lymphatic malformations, etc.
  56. Head & Neck Imaging: Radioactive iodine uptake scan, sestamibi scan, ultrasound, PET scan, CT scan, etc.
  57. Odontogenic Cysts & Tumors: Presentation, differential diagnosis, imaging features, medical vs. surgical gtreatment, periapical cyst, dentigerous cyst, Gorlin cyst, aneurysmal bone cyst, odontogenic keratocyst, ameloblastoma, Pindborg tumor, etc.
  58. Sleep Disordered Breathing: Types of sleep-disordered breathing and diagnostic features, polysomnography, etc.
  59. Sleep Apnea Medical and surgical treatment of sleep apnea.
  60. Surface Facial Landmarks – Aesthetic partitions, facial proportions, determinants of nasal projection, nasofacial angle, Goode’s method, Gonzalez-Uloa line, etc
  61. Rhinoplasty: Tip support mechanisms, tools for projecting the nose, deprojecting nose, rotating tip, etc.
  62. Nasal Obstruction: Diagnosis, causes, medical management, surgical management (septoplasty, valve surgery, turbinate surgery).
  63. Facial Nerve Paralysis: Causes/differential diagnosis, workup (electrophysiologic and topognostic tests), medical treatment, surgical management of immediate vs. chronic facial paralysis.
  64. Rhytidectomy: Types of rhytidectomy, indications, management of early and late complications
  65. Scar Revision – Z-plasty, W-plasty, geometric broken line, scar orientation, rotation, enlongation, indications, lines of maximum distensibility, relaxed skin tension lines, etc.
  66. Periorbital Rejuvenation: Brow lift (types and indications), upper and lower blepharoplasty (types, approaches, indications).
  67. Skin Resurfacing: Peels (types, components, depth, and advantages/disadvantages), dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, etc.
  68. Lasers: Physics of lasers, applications, laser types, chromophores, laser skin resurfacing, treatment of pigmented lesions, hemangiomas, tattoos, etc.
  69. Aesthetic Implants/Fillers/Neuromodulators: Botulinum toxin, hydroxyappatitie, hyaluronic acid, silicone cheek/chin implants; indications, advantages and disadvantages, complications & treatment, etc.
  70. Local Flaps: Types, classification, uses
  71. Regional flaps: Pedicle vessels, uses, advantages/disadvantages
  72. Free Flaps: Pedicle vessels, innervation, types (fasciocutaneous, musculocutaneous, osseocutaneous, etc), indications, advantages/disadvantages, etc.
  73. Mandible Fractures: Types, classification, examination findings, presentation, surgical treatment options.
  74. Midface fractures: Lefort fractures; zygomaticomaxillary complex fractures, nasal bone fractures.
  75. Orbital fractures: Orbital floor fractures, naso-orbito-ethmoid fractures.
  76. Penetrating Neck Injuries: Neck zones, presentation, management.
  77. Laryngeal Trauma: Classification, medical & surgical management.
  78. Temporal Bone Fractures: types, presentation, diagnostics, management; tympanic membrane trauma, etc.
  79. Frontal Sinus Fractures: Types, presentation, diagnostics, management.
  80. Pediatric Trauma – Penetrating trauma, mandible fractures, dentofacial trauma, medical vs. surgical management, etc.
  81. Intraoperative Emergencies: Difficult airway, airway fire, thyroid storm, malignant hyperthermia, oculocardic reflex, etc.
  82. Anesthesia: peripheral nerve blocks, general anesthetics, muscle relaxants, Intubation protocols, intraoperative fluids, resuscitation, etc.
  83. Sinusitis – Acute vs. Chronic, with or without polyps, allergic fungal, invasive fungal, predisposing factors/disorders, medical management, surgical management, complications
  84. Rhinitis: Allergic vs. nonallergic, vasomotor, atrophic, Wegener’s granulomatosis, sarcoidosis, etc.
  85. Benign Sinonasal Lesions & Tumors: Presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic tests, medical & surgical treatment; antrochoanal polyp, inverted papilloma, osteoma, fibrous dysplasia, ossifying fibroma, encephalocele, etc.
  86. Endoscopic Sinus Anatomy & Surgery: Basal lamellae, ager nasi, ethmoid bulla, Haller cells, Onodi cells, Frontal sinus cells (types), Keros classification, ethmoidectomy, frontal sinusotomy (types), maxillary anstrostomy, sphenoidotomy, etc.
  87. Skull Base Surgery: Skull base anatomy, approaches to skull base tumors, diagnosis and management, etc.
  88. Epistaxis: Vascular anatomy, predisposing factors, predisposing conditions, acute management, endoscopic sphenopalatine artery ligation, vessel embolization, etc.
  89. Allergy: Seasonal vs. perennial, diagnosis, skin and in vitro testing, medical management, immunotherapy.
  90. Asthma & Pulmonary Medicine: Symptoms, diagnostic workup (flow-volume curves), medical management, etc.
  91. Ester & amide local anesthetics: Maximum dosage, toxicity treatment & management.
  92. Headaches: Sinus and non-sinus etiology, Migraines, Cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, Tension headaches, etc.
  93. Pituitary tumors: Types, staging, imaging, medical & surgical treatment options & approaches
  94. Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak: Types, causes, management indications, prophylaxis, medical & surgical treatment, etc.
  95. Antimicrobial therapy for Head & Neck: Mechanism of action, coverage profile.
  96. HIV Head & Neck Manifestations: Symptoms, diagnostic workup, associated conditions, AIDS-defining diseases, treatment, etc.
  97. Deep Neck Infections: Patterns/pathways of spread, medical/surgical management.
  98. Granulomatous diseases: Head and neck manifestastions, diagnosis, workup, treatment.
  99. Systemic Diseases: Autoimmune diseases, vasculitis, head & neck manifestations, diagnosis, workup, treatment, etc.
  100. Medical Ethics & Law: Informed consent, end of life decisions, advanced directives, medical dilemmas & emergency (e.g. blood transfusion in Jehova’s witness), etc.

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