Management of hearing loss and the normal ear in cases of unilateral Microtia with aural atresia

Billings, K. R.; Qureshi, H.; Gouveia, C.; Ittner, C.; Hoff, S. R.

Laryngoscope. 2015 Aug 11; 126(6):1470-4


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To identify the rate of hearing loss related to middle ear disease and the frequency of tympanostomy tube (TT) insertion in the contralateral ear of patients with unilateral microtia/aural atresia. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case series of patients less than 3 years of age with unilateral microtia/aural atresia treated at an urban, tertiary care children's hospital from 2008 to 2013. METHODS: Clinical and audiologic data were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the relative risk of TT insertion in the normal ear. RESULTS: A total of 72 patients were included for analysis. The average age of patients at their initial otolaryngology visit was 3.3 months (range 0.08-1.67 years); 38 (52.8%) patients were males. Aural atresia involved the right ear in 43 (59.7%) cases. Five (6.9%) patients were syndromic. Abnormal audiometric testing of the normal ear was noted in 12 (16.7%), and 14 (19.4%) underwent TT during the first 3 years of life. Twelve children (85.7%) who had a TT placed were nonsyndromic. When compared to published norms for TT placement in the general population (6.8% of children < 3 year of age), a greater proportion of children with unilateral microtia/aural atresia had TT placement in the normal ear (z = 4.26, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Patients with unilateral microtia/aural atresia have increased rates of hearing loss and middle ear effusion leading to TT in their normal ear at a higher rate versus the general population. This information can help guide more vigilant care and audiologic follow-up in affected children. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4. Laryngoscope, 126:1470-1474, 2016.

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