Canal dehiscence

Wade W. Chien, John P. Carey, Lloyd B. Minor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: The aim is to review canal dehiscence involving the superior, lateral, and posterior semicircular canals. The main focus will be on superior semicircular canal dehiscence. Recent findings: Canal dehiscence involving the superior, lateral, and posterior semicircular canal can have different etiologies, including developmental abnormality, congenital defect, chronic otitis media with cholesteatoma, and high-riding jugular bulb. However, their clinical presentation can be very similar, with patients complaining of vertigo, oscillopsia, and sometimes hearing loss. Canal dehiscence causes an abnormal communication between the inner ear and the surrounding structures. This creates a third mobile window within the inner ear, disrupting its normal mechanics and causing symptoms. Summary: Superior semicircular canal dehiscence is now a well-established entity in the medical literature. Surgical repair is effective at relieving patients' vestibular symptoms. Lateral semicircular canal dehiscence is usually associated with chronic otitis media. Posterior semicircular canal dehiscence is a rare entity, with similar clinical presentations and treatment options as the other canal dehiscences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Hennebert sign
  • Tullio phenomenon
  • cholesteatoma
  • chronic otitis media
  • hearing loss
  • labyrinthine fistula
  • perilymphatic fistula
  • posterior semicircular canal dehiscence
  • superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome
  • vertigo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Canal dehiscence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this