CT Detection of Facial Canal Dehiscence and Semicircular Canal Fistula: Comparison with Surgical Findings

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ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of high resolution CT (HRCT) in the detection of facial canal dehiscence and semicircular canal fistula, the preoperative evaluation of both of which is clinically very important for ear surgery.Materials and MethodsWe retrospectively reviewed the HRCT findings in 61 patients who underwent mastoidectomy at Yamagata University between 1989 and 1993. The HRCT images were obtained in the axial and semicoronal planes using 1 mm slice thickness and 1 mm intersection gap.ResultsIn 46 (75%) of the 61 patients, the HRCT image-based assessment of the facial canal dehiscence coincided with the surgical findings. The data for the facial canal revealed sensitivity of 66% and specificity of 84%. For semicircular canal fistula, in 59 (97%) of the 61 patients, the HRCT image-based assessment and the surgical findings coincided. The image-based assessment in the remaining two patients, who both had massive cholesteatoma, was false-positive.ConclusionHRCT is useful in the diagnosis of facial canal dehiscence and labyrinthine fistula, but its limitations should also be recognized.

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