Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States; UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States; Department of Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, United States. Electronic address: [Email]
Superior semicircular canal dehiscence (SSCD) is a rare inner ear disorder with variable amounts of auditory and vestibular dysfunction. In addition to the absence of bone overlying the superior semicircular canal, thinning of bone in this area can also initiate the vestibulocochlear symptoms of SSCD. We evaluated normal bone thickness overlying the course of the semicircular canal using computed tomography (CT) scans and assessed correlations between bone thickness and age, gender, and location of the thinnest bone. A single-institution retrospective chart review was conducted on 133 high-resolution CT scans from 76 healthy, asymptomatic patients between ages 9 and 96 years. These CT scans of the temporal bone were obtained between January 2012 and August 2017. The superior semicircular canal dome thickness at the apex was reported with a mean of 1.25 mm for all 76 patients; the 10th percentile was 0.60 mm, and the 90th percentile was 2.08 mm. The thinnest area of bone at any location yielded a mean of 0.86 mm. The normal bone thickness overlying the superior semicircular canal does not depend on gender or age. The thinnest location was evenly distributed across the superior semicircular canal. A bone thickness of 0.40 mm or greater was present in 90% of normal patients based on CT scan measurements at the thinnest location.