The Relationship between Jugular Bulb-Vestibular Aqueduct Dehiscence and Hearing Loss in Pediatric Patients

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Abstract

Objective.

To determine the prevalence of jugular bulb and vestibular aqueduct dehiscence (JBVAD) in pediatric patients undergoing temporal bone computed tomography (CT) scans and to assess the relationship between JBVAD and hearing loss.

Study Design.

Cross-sectional study with chart review.

Setting.

Tertiary academic medical center.

Subjects and Methods.

All patients 18 years of age or younger who had undergone temporal bone CT scans and audiometric testing between 2004 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. JBVAD was determined by blinded review of CT images. Hearing loss was determined by review of audiometric data and was correlated with imaging findings.

Results.

CT images and audiometric data were available for review in 927 patients (1854 ears). Overall prevalence of JBVAD was 8.6%, with a prevalence of 6.6% in right ears and 3.6% in left ears. JBVAD was present in 8.3% and 7.1% of patients with and without sensorineural or mixed hearing loss, respectively (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.3% to 4.6%; P = .51). Similarly, JBVAD was present in 5.5% of ears with and 4.6% of ears without sensorineural or mixed hearing loss (95% CI, -1.1% to 2.9%; P = .37).

Conclusion.

The prevalence of JBVAD is 8.6% in pediatric patients undergoing temporal bone CT scans, 65% of which occur in the right ear. We were unable to identify any relationship between JBVAD and hearing loss. A major contribution to pediatric sensorineural hearing loss from JBVAD is therefore extremely unlikely.

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