Background: Histopathological anomalies of inner-ear structures in individuals with Down syndrome have been well documented; however, few studies have examined the radiological features. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of temporal bone computed tomography images in 38 individuals (75 ears) with Down syndrome to evaluate the prevalence of inner-ear abnormalities and assess vestibular aqueduct widths. Results: Inner-ear anomalies were identified in 20 of the 38 individuals (52.6 per cent). Seven of the 75 temporal bones (9.3 per cent) were found to have higher than previously reported. A dilated internal auditory canal and vestibule were more common among the present study group, while prior studies have demonstrated internal auditory canal stenosis and decreased vestibule size. Conclusion: Down syndrome patients exhibit a high prevalence of dysplastic inner-ear features that confer substantial risk of sensorineural hearing loss. Computed tomography is a useful screening aid to detect inner-ear abnormalities, particularly enlarged vestibular aqueducts, which cause preventable sensorineural hearing loss in this population.
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