Predicting complications of pediatric temporal bone fractures

Raj D. Dedhia, Oliver Y. Chin, Matthew Kaufman, Tsung Yen Hsieh, Rodney C. Diaz, Hilary A. Brodie, Jamie L. Funamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Our aim is to characterize complications of pediatric temporal bone fractures and identify predictive risk factors associated with fracture complications. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all temporal bone fractures diagnosed in children (age less than or equal to 18 years) from a single academic institution between 2003 and 2017. Demographics, mechanism of injury, fracture characteristics, computed tomography evaluation and follow-up duration were recorded on each patient. Outcomes measured include facial nerve injury (FNI), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), and conductive hearing loss (CHL). Results: One-hundred-seventeen patients with 129 temporal bone fractures were included in the study. Most fractures were otic capsule sparing (OCS) (96%, n = 124) and longitudinal (71%, n = 91). Otic capsule violating (OCV) fractures were associated with higher CSF leak rates (20% versus 2%, p = 0.14) and FNI rates (60% versus 5%, p = 0.002) compared to OCS fractures. Audiograms were available in 37 patients (34%). Patients with Glasgow coma scale (GCS) consistent with a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) (GCS > 13) had significantly fewer complications (FNI and CSF leaks) compared to the group with moderate and severe TBI (GCS < 13), 5% versus 23% (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Higher complication rates are seen with OCV fractures and transverse fractures. Moderate and severe TBI as measured by GCS is predictive of FNI and CSF complications in pediatric temporal bone fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110358
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Facial nerve
  • Otic capsule violating or sparing
  • Sensorineural and conductive hearing loss
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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