Contralateral hearing loss in children with a unilateral enlarged vestibular aqueduct

E. A. van Beeck Calkoen, R. J. E. Pennings, J. Smits, S. Pegge, L. J. C. Rotteveel, P. Merkus, B. M. Verbist, E. Sanchez, E. F. Hensen

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Objective: To evaluate the long-term ipsi- and contralateral hearing of patients with a unilateral enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA). Study design: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. Setting: Three tertiary otology and audiology referral centers. Patients and diagnostic interventions: A total of 34 children with a unilateral enlarged vestibular aqueduct as identified on CT and/or MR imaging were evaluated with pure tone and speech perception audiometry. Mean outcome measures: Radiologic measurements of the vestibular aqueduct, ipsi- and contralateral hearing loss, ipsi- and contralateral hearing loss progression over time and DNA test results. Results: All patients in this cohort with unilateral EVA presented with hearing loss. Hearing loss was progressive in 38% of the ipsilateral ears. In 29% of the children, hearing loss was also found in the contralateral ear without EVA. In 90%, the contralateral hearing was stable, with a mean follow up of 4.2 years. We found a significant correlation between the severity of the hearing loss and the size of the EVA. A genetic diagnosis associated with EVA and/or SNHL was found in only 7%. Conclusion: About a third of the children with unilateral EVA are at risk of developing hearing loss in the contralateral ear. This indicates that at least in some patients with a unilateral EVA, a bilateral pathogenic process underlies the hearing loss, in contrary to what the imaging results suggest. These findings are important for counseling of EVA patients and their parents and have implications for follow up.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110891
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • EVA
  • Enlarged vestibular aqueduct
  • Genetics
  • Hearing loss
  • Imaging
  • Inner ear malformation

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