Incidence of Pediatric Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence and Inner Ear Anomalies: A Large Multicenter Review

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To determine the pediatric incidence and association of superior semicircular canal dehiscence (SSCD) with inner ear (IE) anomalies.

Study Design:

Retrospective chart review.


Two tertiary referral centers.


Children less than 18 years who received a 0.5 mm or less collimated computed tomography study including the temporal bones between 2010 and 2013 for reasons including, but not limited to, hearing loss, trauma, and infection.


Images were reformatted into Pöschl and Stenver planes. Five hundred three computed tomography studies (1,006 temporal bones) were reviewed by experienced, blinded neuroradiologists.

Main Outcome Measures:

Incidence of SSCD and IE anomalies. Patient age, sex, and diagnosis were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed to compare outcome measures among patient demographics.


The incidence of SSCD was 6.2% (31/503) and an IE anomaly was 15.1% (76/503) of individuals. The incidence of SSCD with an IE anomaly was not significantly correlated (1.1%, 40/1,006; p = 0.23; LR = +1.29). The mean age of children with SSCD was lower (5.9 versus 9.8 yr; p = 0.002). SSCD incidence decreased with age (ages <2, 2–8, and 9–18 yr were 36.7%, 5.6%, and 3.2%; p<0.001) and SSC bone thickness nonsignificantly increased with age. Children with SSCD were commonly male (74.2%, p = 0.041).


SSCD and IE anomalies are unlikely related. SSCD incidence is highest in children <2 years, with SSC bone increasing until 2 to 8 years of age. This supports the theory of a congenital precedent to SSCD, with overlying bone maturation occurring during early childhood. Age <2 years was a significant predictor of SSCD.

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