Objective: Endoscopic procedures are becoming common in middle ear surgery. Inflammation due to chronic ear disease can cause bony erosion of the carotid artery and Fallopian canals, making them more vulnerable during surgery. The objective of this study was to determine whether or not chronic ear disease increases dehiscence of the carotid artery and Fallopian canals. Design: Comparative human temporal bone study. Setting: Otopathology laboratory. Participants: We selected 78 temporal bones from 55 deceased donors with chronic otitis media or cholesteatoma and then compared those two groups with a control group of 27 temporal bones from 19 deceased donors with no middle ear disease. Main outcome measures: We analysed the middle ear, carotid artery canal and Fallopian canal, looking for signs of dehiscence of its bony coverage, using light microscopy. Results: We found an increased incidence in dehiscence of the carotid artery and Fallopian canals in temporal bones with chronic middle ear disease. The size of the carotid artery canal dehiscence was larger in the middle ear-diseased groups, and its bony coverage, when present, was also thinner compared to the control group. Dehiscence of the carotid artery canal was more frequently located closer to the promontory. The incidence of Fallopian canal dehiscence was significantly higher in temporal bones from donors older than 18 years with chronic middle ear disease. Conclusion: The increased incidence of the carotid artery and Fallopian canal dehiscence in temporal bones with chronic middle ear disease elevates the risk of adverse events during middle ear surgery.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by NIH NIDCD U24 DC011968, International Hearing Foundation, Starkey Hearing Foundation and Lions 5M International.