Objective: Traumatic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SHL) is by definition a hearing loss of greater or equal to 30 dB occurring within 3 days of trauma. The objective of this study was to assess the rate of traumatic sudden SHL. Etiology is discussed with statistical references, and appropriate treatment is proposed. A case study of an enlarged vestibular aqueduct illustrates the above.
Method: The authors retrospectively studied cases at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, between the years 1980 and 1995. High-resolution CT scans of the temporal bones with bone algorithms and coronal/axial views were performed on all children presenting with SHL after 1988.
Results: Of the 12 children studied, 9 had high-resolution CT scans, revealing a 33% incidence each of inner-ear malformations, temporal bone fractures, and other miscellaneous CT findings.
Conclusion: By corollary, the authors recommend a high index of suspicion for congenital temporal bone abnormalities in all cases of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, particularly those associated with trauma.