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Congenital Aural Atresia: Review of Short- and Long-Term Surgical Results

Digoy, G. Paul*; Cueva, Roberto A.

doi: 10.1097/01.mao.0000227897.73032.95
Pediatric Otology

Objectives/Hypothesis: To review the short- (<1 yr) and long-term (>1 yr) surgical and hearing outcomes for congenital aural atresia and to analyze the stability of surgical results over time.

Study Design: Retrospective chart review of 45 patients (54 ears) who underwent surgery for congenital aural atresia during a 5-year period at a tertiary care institution.

Methods: Preoperative and postoperative speech reception thresholds, air-bone gaps (ABGs), and pure-tone averages were compared and further analyzed for outcome stability over time. The complication rate was reviewed and compared with results from similar studies.

Results: Approximately 50% of patients achieved a speech reception threshold of 30 dB or better both in the short and long term. The average improvement in ABG was 22 dB, resulting in a postoperative ABG of 30 dB or less in three of four patients. Short- and long-term outcomes were not significantly different. Patients with an intact ossicular chain did not seem to have a significant advantage in hearing when compared with patients with a prosthetic reconstruction prosthesis. We report a low incidence of meatal stenosis compared with other similar reviews and describe surgical modifications that may attribute to this outcome.

Conclusion: Overall, the mean hearing outcome for this group collectively did not significantly degrade over time and compared favorably with other series. However, there was significant variability among individual patients. The safety of this procedure and the demonstrated hearing improvement makes it a reasonable option in patients with congenital aural atresia with favorable anatomy.

*Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; and †Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Kaiser Permanente, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Roberto A. Cueva, M.D., 4647 Zion Avenue, San Diego, CA 92120; E-mail:

© 2007 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.