Temporal bone pneumatization in otosclerosis

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To determine whether there is a difference in the pneumatization of temporal bones with otosclerosis versus normal temporal bones.


A retrospective study of 46 ears from 24 adult patients with otosclerosis and 64 ears from 47 adult patients in a control group. The study group included temporal bone CT scans available from patients with otosclerosis. The control group consisted of patients who had temporal bone CTs for reasons likely unrelated to a history of middle ear disease. Data were obtained with a virtual reality system that allows three-dimensional manipulation and analysis.


The temporal bone pneumatization for the otosclerosis group was 4.82 ± 2.27 cm3 vs 6.06 ± 2.71 cm3 for the control group. Two-sample t test analysis revealed no statistical significance (P = 0.059) between pneumatization in the control vs otosclerosis groups.


There is no difference in temporal bone pneumatization between patients with otosclerosis and a control population. Therefore, temporal bone pneumatization by itself is not an adequate explanation for the apparent protective effect of otosclerosis against otitis media.

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