Pediatric temporal bone fractures: Current trends and comparison of classification schemes

The Laryngoscope (Impact Factor: 2.14). 03/2014; 124(3). DOI: 10.1002/lary.21891
Source: PubMed


1) Characterize the current presentation of pediatric temporal bone fractures, 2) compare two classification schemes for temporal bone fractures and illustrate complications in each fracture type.
Retrospective medical record review.
Tertiary-care, academic children's hospital.
All children presenting from 1999 to 2009 with CT-proven temporal bone fracture and audiology examination with follow-up.
All CT scans were reinterpreted by a dedicated head and neck radiologist. All fractures were characterized as otic capsule sparing (OCS) or otic capsule violating (OCV), as well as transverse (T) or longitudinal (L).
CT findings, mechanisms of injury, sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), conductive hearing loss (CHL), and facial nerve injury (FNI).
Seventy-one children met inclusion criteria. Fifty-four (76%) children had longitudinal fractures versus 17 (24%) with transverse fractures. Sixty-four (90%) had OCS versus 7 (10%) with OCV. The otic capsule was involved in 7.4% of longitudinal fractures and 17.6% of transverse fractures. Eleven (15%) had facial weakness, 72% of whom had a visualized fracture through the facial nerve course. SNHL was detected in 14 (20%) patients and CHL in 17(23.9%). All patients with fractures classified as both transverse and OCV had SNHL. The OCS versus OCV and T versus L classification schemes were directly compared for statistical significance in predicting SNHL, CHL, and FNI using the Fisher's exact test. Both OCS/OCV and T/L were predictors of SNHL (P = .0025 and P = .0143, respectively), but the OCS/OCV scheme was more accurate. Neither classification significantly predicted CHL or FNI (P = .787 versus .825; P = .705 vs. .755).
In this pediatric series, approximately 75% of the fractures are longitudinal and 25% are transverse. The otic capsule is spared in 90% and violated in 10%. Both OCS/OCV and L/T classification schemes predict SNHL, but the OCV/OCS scheme is more accurate in this prediction. Although the negative predictive value of the two schemes is similar, the positive predictive value is higher with the OCS/OCV system. The presence of conductive hearing loss and facial nerve symptoms was not predicted by either classification system. Level of Evidence: 2b. Laryngoscope, 2013.

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