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Abstract

Congenital external auditory canal atresia is a disorder with a prevalence of one in 10 000-20 000 live births and is bilateral in one third of the patients. With a conductive hearing loss of 60 dB, even unilateral atresia restricts hearing related social skills. The degree of middle ear deformity may make reconstruction surgery impossible or too hazardous, thus bone-conduction hearing aids have become the first-line therapy. Children with unilateral cartilaginous and bony external auditory canal atresia were enrolled. High-resolution computed tomography with three dimensional reconstructions were made. Reconstruction surgery from retroauricular approach comprised maximal enlargement of the tympanic and mastoid cavities and their closure with adapted conchal cartilage. Hearing improvement reached the level above the social threshold. The auditory canal remained stable and widely patent and facial nerve function was unremarkable. The authors highlight that surgical reconstruction of the external auditory canal is possible in selected cases. The procedure is safe and effective with a reasonably short surgical time, if it is supported by deep anatomical knowledge, careful preoperative imaging and intraoperative facial nerve monitoring. Stable audiological benefits improve patients' satisfaction and quality of life. If reconstruction surgery is not possible, bone-conduction hearing aids are beneficial.
Article
Introduction and objectives: Congenital atresia of the external auditory canal (EAC) is a congenital defect present in one in every 10,000-20,000 births. It causes conductive hearing loss, with an air-bone gap of 50-60dB. Early amplification is essential in bilateral cases to ensure normal language development. The aim of this study is to present the osseointegrated hearing implant as a treatment for bilateral EAC atresia, reviewing the audiometric results and the rate of complications. Material and methods: Retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with bilateral congenital EAC atresia under follow-up in the pediatric ENT clinic of the ENT and Head and Neck Surgery department of a Portuguese Tertiary Hospital, between 2003 and 2019. We reviewed the medical records and collected information on the assessment of the initial audiometric status. In the cases submitted for implantation with an osseointegrated hearing implant, we analyzed the details of follow-up, including immediate and long-term post-operative complications, as well as the audiometric results. Results: We present 8 pediatric patients, 6 girls and 2 boys, with a diagnosis of bilateral congenital EAC atresia. The audiometric assessment revealed moderate to severe bilateral conductive hearing loss with a mean speech recognition threshold (SRT) of 51dB. Six patients underwent osseointegrated hearing implantation. All 6 patients showed good audiometric results, with an average SRT of 20dB and closure of the air-bone gap. Conclusions: The osseointegrated hearing implant was an effective treatment option in these patients, without significant morbidity or complications. Osseointegrated hearing implantation should be considered first line treatment for children with bilateral congenital EAC atresia, as it presents good functional results and a high level of patient satisfaction.
Introduction and objectives Congenital atresia of the external auditory canal (EAC) is a congenital defect present in one in every 10,000–20,000 births. It causes conductive hearing loss, with an air-bone gap of 50–60 dB. Early amplification is essential in bilateral cases to ensure normal language development. The aim of this study is to present the osseointegrated hearing implant as a treatment for bilateral EAC atresia, reviewing the audiometric results and the rate of complications. Material and methods Retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with bilateral congenital EAC atresia under follow-up in the pediatric ENT clinic of the ENT and Head and Neck Surgery department of a Portuguese Tertiary Hospital, between 2003 and 2019. We reviewed the medical records and collected information on the assessment of the initial audiometric status. In the cases submitted for implantation with an osseointegrated hearing implant, we analyzed the details of follow-up, including immediate and long-term post-operative complications, as well as the audiometric results. Results We present 8 pediatric patients, 6 girls and 2 boys, with a diagnosis of bilateral congenital EAC atresia. The audiometric assessment revealed moderate to severe bilateral conductive hearing loss with a mean speech recognition threshold (SRT) of 51 dB. Six patients underwent osseointegrated hearing implantation. All 6 patients showed good audiometric results, with an average SRT of 20 dB and closure of the air-bone gap. Conclusions The osseointegrated hearing implant was an effective treatment option in these patients, without significant morbidity or complications. Osseointegrated hearing implantation should be considered first line treatment for children with bilateral congenital EAC atresia, as it presents good functional results and a high level of patient satisfaction.
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