Hearing loss and enlarged internal auditory canal in children

Saturnino Santos, M Jesús Domínguez, Javier Cervera, Alicia Suárez, Antonio Bueno, Margarita Bartolomé, Rafael López
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española 2014, 65 (2): 93-101

INTRODUCTION: Among the temporal bone abnormalities that can be found in the etiological study of paediatric sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) by imaging techniques, those related to the internal auditory canal (IAC) are the least frequent. The most prevalent of these abnormalities that is associated with SNHL is stenotic IAC due to its association with cochlear nerve deficiencies. Less frequent and less concomitant with SNHL is the finding of an enlarged IAC (>8mm).

METHODS: Retrospective and descriptive review of clinical associations, imaging, audiological patterns and treatment of 9 children with hearing loss and enlarged IAC in the period 1999 to 2012.

RESULTS: Two groups of patients are described. The first, without association with vestibulocochlear dysplasias, consisted of: 2 patients with SNHL without other temporal bone or systemic abnormalities, one with bilateral mixed HL from chromosome 18q deletion, one with a genetic X-linked DFN3 hearing loss, one with unilateral hearing loss in neurofibromatosis type 2 with bilateral acoustic neuroma, and one with unilateral hearing loss with cochlear nerve deficiency. The second group, with association with vestibulocochlear dysplasias, was comprised of: one patient with moderate bilateral mixed hearing loss in branchio-oto-renal syndrome, one with profound unilateral SNHL with recurrent meningitis, and another with profound bilateral SNHL with congenital hypothyroidism.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of an enlarged IAC in children can be found in different clinical and audiological settings with relevancies that can range from life-threatening situations, such as recurrent meningitis, to isolated hearing loss with no other associations.

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