Value of Temporal Bone Density Measurements in Otosclerosis Patients with Normal-Appearing Computed Tomographic Scan

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Previous studies demonstrated that otosclerosis diagnosis benefits from temporal bone density measurements. We sought to assess bone density measurements of the fissula ante fenestram (FAF) in normal patients, in patients with otosclerosis, and in patients with cholesteatoma. We discuss the value of temporal bone density measurements in patients with otosclerosis who have a normal-appearing computed tomographic (CT) scan.


This was a prospective case-control study in which 219 temporal bones (123 adults, 18 to 84 years of age) were included between November 1, 2002, and April 30, 2004. All patients underwent a CT scan of the temporal bones. Axial views were obtained with density measurement of the FAF.


The FAF density was significantly different (p < .0001) in the otosclerosis group (n = 119) compared to the control group (n = 100). There was no significant difference between the otosclerosis group with a normal-appearing CT scan and the control group (p = .64).


From our results, it may be suggested that 1) temporal bone density measurements seem not to be strictly comparable between CT scan devices; and 2) temporal bone density measurements of the FAF did not allow the diagnosis of otosclerosis when the CT scan appeared normal.

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