Risk of posterior semicircular canal trauma when using a retrosigmoid approach for acoustic neuroma surgery and role of endoscopy: An imaging study | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Risk of posterior semicircular canal trauma when using a retrosigmoid approach for acoustic neuroma surgery and role of endoscopy: An imaging study

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January 14, 2018
by Ali Kouhi, MD; Varasteh Vakili Zarch, MD; Ali Pouyan, MD

Abstract

The rate of hearing preservation after vestibular schwannoma surgery is variable and is not as high as expected, possibly due to injuries to the posterior semicircular canal while exposing the tumor. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of posterior semicircular canal injuries using temporal bone computed tomography (CT) scan findings. Temporal bone CT scans of 30 patients selected between 2013 and 2015 were studied. The median age of the patients was 40 years. Two planes were studied: (1) the axial plane that shows the common crus of the posterior semicircular canal and (2) the coronal plane that shows the two crura of the posterior semicircular canal. Five lines were drawn and four angles and three distances were measured. In this study, we divided the patients into three groups consisting of 10 patients each: (1) patients with no evidence of inflammatory or neoplastic disease, (2) those with chronic ear disease, and (3) those with vestibular schwannomas. The portion of the internal auditory canal that was exposed by drilling while preserving the posterior semicircular canal was 53 to 64% and 61 ± 9% in whole temporal bones in the three groups. The mean angle of vision with an endoscope was less than 105° in 56% of cases, which means even with a 30° endoscope, the fundus could not be visualized. Therefore, according to our data, it seemed impossible to expose the whole length of the internal auditory canal from the porus to the fundus without causing injury to the posterior semicircular canal. However, the use of endoscopes may help to prevent injury.

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