The narrow internal auditory canal in children: a contraindication to cochlear implants

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989 Mar;100(3):227-31. doi: 10.1177/019459988910000310.


We suggest a new explanation for the lack of auditory response to electric stimulation in children with cochlear implants: the very narrow internal auditory canal, 1 to 2 mm in diameter, and the probable absence of the cochlear nerve. This defect can be seen on high-resolution computed tomographic x-ray studies and may represent aplasia of the auditory-vestibular nerve. We report on eight children with this anomaly, three of whom have received implants and failed to respond with a sensation of sound. Identification of this problem on screening x-ray films is a contraindication to cochlear implantation for auditory stimulation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Cochlear Nerve / abnormalities*
  • Ear Canal / abnormalities*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vestibular Nerve / abnormalities
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / abnormalities