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The Association of Accessory Auricular Tissue With Solid Organ Abnormalities and Its Effect on Auditory and Vestibular Function

Jenny, Hillary E. MPH; Massenburg, Benjamin B. BA; Weissler, E. Hope BA; Taub, Peter J. MD, FACS, FAAP

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000893
Head and Neck Surgery

Background Accessory auricular tissue is a common congenital anomaly ranging from an accessory skin appendage to a separate pinna. The association between auditory or vestibular dysfunction and accessory auricular tissue is debated, and little is known about related solid organ abnormalities. We examine the prevalence of accessory auricular tissue, its association between solid organ abnormalities and auditory/vestibular dysfunction, and its management.

Methods A retrospective cohort study was performed using the 2000 to 2012 HCUP kids' inpatient database. Live newborns with a diagnosis of accessory auricle were included.

Results Of the 19,638,453 births recorded between 2000 and 2012, 0.13% had accessory auricular tissue (n = 25,802); 11.8% underwent excision or destruction of the tissue during birth admission. Newborns with this diagnosis were more likely to receive auditory and vestibular testing (5% vs 4.2%, P < 0.001; 5.5% vs 5%, P < 0.001) and to be diagnosed with abnormal auditory function (1.2% vs 0.5%, P < 0.001) and hearing loss (0.09% vs 0.02%, P < 0.001). Diagnosis of auditory impairment had a 3-fold higher odds of surgical management during birth stay (odds ratio, 3.12; 95% confidence interval, 1.826–5.339). Although none were diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction, patients with accessory auricular tissue were 1.5-fold to 3-fold more likely to have cardiac malformations and 4-fold more likely to have renal anomalies.

Conclusions Newborns with accessory auricular tissue more frequently undergo auditory and vestibular testing during birth stay. Auditory dysfunction, cardiac malformations, and renal anomalies are more frequently diagnosed in patients with accessory auricular tissue. However, none were diagnosed with vestibular impairment, bringing into question the necessity of vestibular testing.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Received May 22, 2016, and accepted for publication, after revision, July 7, 2016.

Conflicts of interest and source of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Peter J. Taub, MD, FACS, FAAP, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 5 East 98th Street New York, NY 10029. E-mail:

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