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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pediatric temporal bone fractures.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the etiology, presentation, and management of temporal bone fractures in children. STUDY DESIGN: Case control. METHOD: Retrospective review of a level I pediatric trauma center from July 1, 1990 to November 1, 1996 identified 680 patients. Inclusion criteria of age less than 14 years and only blunt temporal bone trauma identified 122 patients, with 97 charts available for review. The criteria for temporal bone fracture consisted of both clinical and radiologic information. Only patients with temporal bone fractures confirmed by computed tomography, a complete otolaryngology examination, and audiometric evaluations were included in the study. The data were analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance (ANOVA) for examining the three separate age groups of fractures. Chi-squared analysis was used to compare these data with previously published adult and pediatric temporal bone fracture series and to examine the three separate age groups of fractures. RESULTS: The review identified 72 children with 79 temporal bone fractures: 47 boys and 25 girls. The patients ranged from 6 months to 14 years of age, with a bimodal distribution of patients with peaks at 3 years and 12 years of age. The most common causes of fractures were motor vehicle accidents (47%), falls (40%), biking accidents (8%), and blows to the head (7%). Common presenting signs and symptoms included hearing loss (82%), hemotympanum (81%), loss of consciousness (63%), intracranial injuries (58%), bloody otorrhea (58%), extremity fractures (8%), and facial nerve weakness (3%). The most common causes of temporal bone fractures were falls and motor vehicle accidents. Forty-two patients were noted to have bloody otorrhea and possible cerebrospinal fluid leak. Twenty-four received intravenous antibiotics. No patient developed prolonged otorrhea or meningitis during hospitalization and the follow-up period. The classification of fracture patterns was longitudinal, 54%; transverse, 6%; oblique, 10%; squamous, 27%; and other, 3%. Hearing loss was found in 59 patients, with conductive hearing loss being the most common finding in 56% of the patients, followed by sensorineural hearing loss in 17% and mixed hearing loss in 10%. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric temporal bone fractures are associated with falls and motor vehicle accidents. There is a high incidence of associated intracranial injuries and hearing loss, but facial nerve injuries are uncommon. Timely management minimizes complications.[1]


  1. Pediatric temporal bone fractures. Lee, D., Honrado, C., Har-El, G., Goldsmith, A. Laryngoscope (1998) [Pubmed]
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