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M. Dahm, R. Shepherd and G. Clark (1993)

The postnatal growth of the temporal bone and its implications for cochlear implantation in children

Acta Oto-Laryngologica. Supplementum, 505:1-39.

The postnatal growth of the human temporal bone was examined by direct anatomical measurements on 60 cadaver specimens of all ages. The bones were dissected as one would perform cochlear implant surgery using a posterior tympanotomy approach. Nineteen anatomical/surgical landmarks with implications for cochlear implant surgery were identified on each bone and the distance between these points measured. The temporal bone was found to be a complex structure, phylogenetically, anatomically and functionally consisting of four different parts with independent postnatal development. The inner and middle ears were adult size at birth. The external auditory canal and most parts of the temporal bone were subject to significant lateral growth. The size of the pneumatised mastoid increased in all directions. In the facial recess, however, no postnatal growth was observed. Between birth and adulthood an average of 12 mm (SD 5 mm) of growth was seen directly between the sino-dural angle and the round window, the landmarks approximating the implantation site for the receiver-stimulator and the electrode entry point into the inner ear. However, if an electrode leadwire is fixed at a cortical fixation site such as the posterosuperior point of Macewen's triangle, the leadwire would be subject to approximately 20 mm of growth. These results indicate that a paediatric cochlear implant design incorporating an expandable leadwire to accommodate this growth should allow up to 25 mm of leadwire lengthening. The fossa incudis showed no growth relative to the round window and was found to be a convenient fixation site for the electrode array close to the cochlea. From an anatomical and surgical point of view, cochlear implantation in very young children is feasible, provided the electrode array is secured and the design accommodates for controlled leadwire lengthening.

Infant, Male, Adolescent, Temporal Bone, Humans, Middle, Inner, Female, Child, Cochlear Implants, Ear, Preschool


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