Otopathology of Unilateral Cochlear Implantation in Patients With Bilateral Temporal Bone Fracture

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Otolaryngology; School of Medicine; Senior Scholars Program

Faculty Mentor

Aaron Remenschneider

Publication Date


Document Type



Medical Education | Otolaryngology | Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases


OBJECTIVE: Audiometric outcomes following cochlear implantation (CI) in patients with temporal bone fracture (TBF) are variable and the pathophysiology is not well understood. Herein, we describe otopathologic findings in two such cases to provide insight into pathophysiology and outcomes.

PATIENTS: Two patients had a history of head trauma resulting in bilateral TBF and sudden, profound, sensorineural hearing loss.

INTERVENTION: Both cases underwent unilateral CI following head trauma.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Both TBs from each patient were harvested postmortem and histologically analyzed to determine fracture lines, intralabyrinthine fibroosseous changes, and spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) counts. Clinical histories and audiometric outcomes were also reviewed.

RESULTS: In both cases, the implanted TB showed extensive intracochlear ossification, which was greater when fracture involved the cochlea. In contrast, the nonimplanted cochleae were patent with small osseous deposits at the round window membrane. Interaural SGN counts were lower on the implanted side and hearing results were moderate to poor.

CONCLUSIONS: Otopathologic analyses of patients with a CI after bilateral TBF are rare. Based on otopathology of two patients with bilateral TBF and subsequent CI, implanted TBs show extensive intracochlear fibroosseous changes greater than the nonimplanted side. Findings have implications for auditory rehabilitation after TBF.


temporal bone fracture, cochlear implantation, head trauma, vestibular dysfunction, otopathology

DOI of Published Version



Trakimas DR, Knoll RM, Ishai R, Lee DJ, Jung DH, Nadol JB Jr, Remenschneider AK, Kozin ED. Otopathology of Unilateral Cochlear Implantation in Patients With Bilateral Temporal Bone Fracture. Otol Neurotol. 2019 Jan;40(1):e14-e19. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002057. PMID: 30531637; PMCID: PMC6939457. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Otology and neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology


Danielle Trakimas participated in this study as a medical student in the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

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