Prevalence of Cochlear-Facial Dehiscence in a Study of 1,020 Temporal Bone Specimens

Christina H. Fang, Sei Yeon Chung, Danielle M. Blake, Alejandro Vazquez, Chengrui Li, John P. Carey, Howard W. Francis, Robert W. Jyung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of cochlear-facial dehiscence (CFD) and to examine the influence of otic capsule area, age, sex, and race on CFD. Study Design: Descriptive study of archived temporal bone specimens. Materials and Methods: Targeted sections from 1,020 temporal bone specimens were scanned and examined for CFD. Cochlear-facial partition width (CFPW) and otic capsule area (OCA), a marker of bone thickness, were measured using image analysis software. Demographic data were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis. Results: The mean CFPW was 0.23 mm (range, 0-0.92 mm; SD, 0.15 mm). Six patients were completely dehiscent (0.59%). Fallopian canal width, age, sex, race, and OCA were found to be significant predictors of CFPW. Age was found to be negatively correlated with CFPW (β = -0.001) (p < 0.005). Thicker CFPW was associated with males (β = 0.024) and non-Caucasian individuals (β = 0.031). The mean OCA for dehiscent specimens (mean, 9.48 mm 2; range, 6.65-11.58 mm 2; SD 3.21 mm 2) was significantly smaller than the mean OCA for nondehiscent specimens, (mean, 12.88 mm 2; range, 6.63-21.92 mm 2; SD, 2.47 mm 2) (p < 0.01). Conclusion: CFD occurred in nearly 0.6% of specimens in this temporal bone collection. Close to 35% of patients were sufficiently thin (<0.1 mm) to appear dehiscent on computed tomography scanning. Smaller OCA correlated with thinner CFPW, suggesting a developmental factor. Older, female, and Caucasian patients may have a greater risk for CFD and its associated symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-972
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cochlear facial dehiscence
  • Otic capsule dehiscence
  • Otic capsule development
  • Pseudoconductive hearing loss
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Temporal bone study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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