The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic and differential value of high-resolution computed tomography in the evaluation of temporal-bone dystrophies. The study group included 55 patients with osseous abnormalities of the temporal bone in general, and the labyrinthine capsule in particular. In 27 patients the CT scan revealed evidence of otodystrophic lesions. The CT findings in patients with otosclerosis (21 patients), osteogenesis imperfecta (two patients), fibrous dysplasia (one patient), Paget's disease (one patient) and osteopetrosis (two patients) are described. The CT scans of 17 patients revealed secondary osseous lesions due to metastasis (five patients), post-inflammatory changes (10 patients) or labyrinthitis ossificans (two patients). Normal variants and congenital mineralization defects were diagnosed in nine patients, Down's syndrome in two. Our results indicate the importance of high-resolution computed tomography as the primary imaging modality in evaluating osseous lesions of the temporal bone and labyrinth.