Cone-Beam CT Compared to Multi-Slice CT for the Diagnostic Analysis of Conductive Hearing Loss: A Feasibility Study

J Int Adv Otol. 2020 Aug;16(2):222-226. doi: 10.5152/iao.2020.5883.


Objectives: Multislice computed tomography (MSCT) is commonly used as a diagnostic tool for patients with a conductive hearing loss. Recent studies indicate that cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) may be used as a low-radiation dose alternative for temporal bone imaging. This study compares image quality and radiation dose between CBCT and MSCT when assessing anatomical landmarks related to conductive hearing loss.

Materials and methods: Five human cadaver heads (10 ears) were imaged on the NewTom 5G CBCT and the Discovery CT750 HD MSCT. Visibility of 16 anatomical landmarks of the middle and inner ear was assessed by two observers on a 4-point Likert scale. Furthermore, effective radiation dose was compared, and contrast-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution were measured with a phantom head.

Results: Image quality of CBCT was assessed as superior to MSCT. Effective radiation dose of the high-resolution CBCT protocol was 30.5% of the clinical MSCT dose. High-resolution CBCT was reported as having a higher spatial resolution and superior contrast-to-noise perception in comparison with MSCT.

Conclusion: High-resolution CBCT was evaluated as superior to MSCT in the assessment of structures related to conductive hearing loss. Furthermore, CBCT imaging resulted in a considerably lower effective radiation dose.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anatomic Landmarks / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cadaver
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Ear, Inner / anatomy & histology
  • Ear, Inner / diagnostic imaging
  • Ear, Middle / anatomy & histology
  • Ear, Middle / diagnostic imaging
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging