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Laryngoscope. 1994 Apr;104(4):426-32.

Histopathology of temporal bone fractures: implications for cochlear implantation.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Temporal bone fractures often cause loss of audiovestibular function. Those patients with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing losses secondary to temporal bone fractures become candidates for cochlear implantation. The authors present the histopathology of five temporal bone fractures in three patients, evaluating specifically the traumatic effects on the neural elements of the inner ear. Transverse fractures of the temporal bone result in severe loss of hair cells, ganglion cells, and other supporting cells in the inner ear. Occasionally labyrinthitis ossificans may occur as a consequence of trauma or infection. While longitudinal fractures do not violate the otic capsule, these same neural elements may be damaged by concussion.

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