Relationship between Surgically Treated Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome and Body Mass Index

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Apr;156(4):722-727. doi: 10.1177/0194599816686563. Epub 2017 Jan 24.


Objective Examine the association between body mass index (BMI) and superior canal dehiscence (SCD) among patients who have undergone surgical repair for superior canal dehiscence. Study Design Retrospective comparison study. Setting Neurotology tertiary care center. Subjects and Methods Retrospective review of consecutive adult patients evaluated at our institution for SCD syndrome between November 2006 and August 2015. A control group who underwent imaging within the same period for reasons other than SCD was also included. Patient demographics, weight, and height were examined. We performed multiple subgroup analyses to investigate the relationship of BMI, surgery vs no surgery, and correlation between patient BMI and SCD size. Results Of the 268 patients with SCD, 99 underwent surgery; 96 of these patients had complete medical records and were eligible for inclusion. Eighty-eight patients were noted to have arcuate eminence defects, and the mean BMI of this surgical cohort was 28.09 ± 5.26 kg/m2. Nonsurgically treated patients with SCD with available data (n = 94) had a mean BMI of 27.97 ± 6.95 kg/m2. A control group of 204 patients who underwent computed tomography for non-SCD-related causes was analyzed, of whom 155 had available data with a mean BMI of 27.91 ± 6.38 kg/m2. Conclusion We demonstrate that adult patients who undergo surgery for SCD are not obese (mean BMI <30), and size of dehiscence poorly correlates with BMI. Our observations call into question the proposed theory that patient weight is a risk factor for the development of symptomatic SCD involving the arcuate eminence.

Keywords: Minor syndrome; arcuate eminence defect; lateral skull base defects and obesity; middle fossa craniotomy; superior canal dehiscence syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Ear Diseases / etiology*
  • Ear Diseases / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Semicircular Canals / surgery*
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed