OBJECTIVE: To evaluate temporal bone histopathology in infants with congenital heart defects (CHD). STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A retrospective review of our temporal bone collection was conducted to identify temporal bones acquired from infants with CHD. Subjects were divided into nonsyndromic and syndromic CHD groups. The presence of temporal bone abnormalities and the incidence of abnormalities that may result in hearing impairment were determined. RESULTS: Thirty-eight temporal bones obtained from 16 infants with nonsyndromic CHD and 4 with syndromic CHD were evaluated. Nonsyndromic CHD cases had abnormalities such as a mesenchymal remnant, malformed stapes, persistent stapedial artery, shallow round window, dehiscent facial nerve canal, short cochlea, strial basophilic deposits, deformity of the spiral ligament, bulging Reissner's membrane, hypoplastic lateral semicircular canal, and cupular deposits. Syndromic CHD cases had abnormalities including narrow round window niche, facial canal dehiscence, strial basophilic deposits and cysts, and outer hair cell loss. Middle and inner ear abnormalities that may impair hearing were observed in 6 subjects with nonsyndromic CHD and in 1 subject with syndromic CHD. CONCLUSIONS: A wide variety of temporal bone defects were documented in infants with CHD. Congenital middle and inner ear abnormalities should be anticipated in the hearing assessment and otologic surgery of infants with CHD.
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