Enlarged vestibular aqueduct and sensorineural hearing loss in childhood

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Jan;121(1):23-8. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1995.01890010011003.


Objective: To determine if all children with enlarged vestibular aqueducts (EVAs) have development of uniform progressive sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). To determine whether the size of the EVA correlates with severity, frequencies involved, and stability of SNHL. To determine if the audiologic pattern of SNHL correlates with likelihood of progression of SNHL.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, a tertiary care center with a large otologic practice.

Patients: Fifteen children (26 ears) with EVA on computed tomographic scan.

Methods: History, physical examination, computed tomographic scans, and serial audiograms were reviewed. Factors analyzed included age at diagnosis, audiometric configuration (high tone, midtone, low tone, flat), degree of hearing loss at presentation, length of follow-up, and presence of associated inner ear anomalies.

Results: Nine ears had progressive SNHL, 16 ears had stable SNHL, and 1 ear had profound SNHL. The predominant audiologic configuration was flat. The audiogram configuration does not correlate with progression of SNHL. The size of the vestibular aqueduct does not correlate with the level, type, or progression of SNHL.

Conclusion: Our study failed to uncover factors that might be predictive of progression of hearing loss. We conclude that until a better understanding of the natural history and pathophysiologic condition of EVAs is achieved, there is no surgical or other intervention that can be demonstrated as being efficacious.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Sex Ratio
  • Vestibular Aqueduct / abnormalities*