Morphometric properties of the facial canal in children: A retrospective computed tomography study.


Mersin University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Mersin, Turkey. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The main objective of the study was to examine the morphometric development of the facial canal in temporal bones aged from one to 18 years for pediatric otosurgeons and neurosurgeons.
METHODS : The study was performed on 41 patients including cochlear implantation cases (20 females and 21 males) with a mean age of 6.44 ± 5.79 years. All the measurements belonging to the facial canal including the length, width and angles of its segments were performed using the data of computed tomography assessment.
RESULTS : The numerical data of the facial canal segments were not different in terms of sexes or sides, statistically (p > 0.05). The width of the labyrinthine segment (p = 0.145), the length of the tympanic segment (p = 0.555), the first (p = 0.067) and second (p = 0.060) genu angles seemed to reach adult size at two years of age. In addition, the length of the labyrinthine segment (p = 0.064) and the width of the mastoid segment (p = 0.264) seemed to attain adult size at four years, while the width of the meatal foramen (p = 0.264) seemed to arrive adult size at seven years. However, the length of the mastoid segment and the width of the tympanic segment were developing independently of increasing age between 1 and 18 years.
CONCLUSIONS : Our data suggested that, contrary to the general acceptance in the literature, the dimension of the facial canal segments show remarkable changes during the transition from intrauterine life to adult life. The regression equations representing the facial canal growth dynamic in children may be useful for otosurgeons to estimate the size of its segments and to prevent iatrogenic injury during early childhood surgeries such as cochlear implantation.


Child,Computed tomography,Facial canal,Labyrinthine segment,Mastoid segment,Tympanic segment,