Objective: (a) To report computed tomography findings of eight new cases with Waardenburg's syndrome (WS) type I and review reported temporal bone radiographic and histopathological findings in WS with hearing loss; (b) To determine the frequency of inner ear pathologies that may contraindicate cochlear implantation.
Methods: A review of 1166 pediatric patients with sensorineural hearing loss revealed 12 cases (1%) with WS, whose family screenings disclosed additional 12 subjects with the same disorder. Among these 24 cases, eight had WS type I and were subjected to computed tomography scanning of temporal bone. Imaging findings of 28 cases reported previously in English literature were evaluated together with our eight patients.
Results: Malformation of the inner ear was found in none of the nine WS type I cases evaluated here, while the frequency of internal acoustic canal malformation was 11%. Regardless of the subtypes of the syndrome, 6 of 36 cases (17%) had radiological abnormality of the inner ear. Malformation and/or absence of the semicircular canals were the most common congenital abnormality of the inner ear. Hypoplasia of the cochlea was present in 3 of 36 cases (8%).
Conclusions: Abnormality of bony labyrinth in WS with congenital deafness is not a frequent finding, particularly in WS type I. Therefore, the otologist and audiologist must keep in mind that most of these cases are suitable for cochlear implantation regarding inner ear anatomy.