Incapacitating hypersensitivity to one's own body sounds due to a dehiscence of bone overlying the superior semicircular canal. A case report

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 Jan;263(1):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s00405-005-0939-9. Epub 2005 Jun 21.


We present a case study of a 49-year-old patient with an 8-year history of hypersensitivity to sound produced by intrinsic but not extrinsic sources. Findings that indicated an organic problem were: a supranormal bone conduction threshold of -25 to -15 dB HL from 0.25 to 1 kHz with an air-bone gap of 15 to 45 dB HL, a lower threshold and larger amplitude for vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials, eye movement reactions to sound and trunk pitch sway in response to sound. Results of immitance audiometry and otoacoustic emission testing were within normal limits and indicative of intact middle ear conductance. A high-resolution CT scan of the temporal bone demonstrated a dehiscence of bone overlying the superior semicircular canal. These findings support previous research indicating that auditory energy reaches the cochleo-vestibular receptor systems more easily via transmission through cerebrospinal fluid than through bone. Therefore, a dehiscence of the bone overlying the superior semicircular canal may lead to hypersensitivity to intrinsic sound. We recommend that similar findings in other patients be followed up with an evaluation of middle ear function and the temporal bone with high-resolution CT scan.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bone Conduction
  • Humans
  • Hyperacusis / etiology*
  • Hyperacusis / pathology
  • Labyrinth Diseases / pathology
  • Labyrinth Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology*
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*