Management of hearing loss and the normal ear in cases of unilateral Microtia with aural atresia

Kathleen R. Billings*, Hannan Qureshi, Christopher Gouveia, Colleen Ittner, Stephen R. Hoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis To identify the rate of hearing loss related to middle ear disease and the frequency of tympanostomy tube (TT) insertion in the contralateral ear of patients with unilateral microtia/aural atresia. Study Design Retrospective case series of patients less than 3 years of age with unilateral microtia/aural atresia treated at an urban, tertiary care children's hospital from 2008 to 2013. Methods Clinical and audiologic data were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the relative risk of TT insertion in the normal ear. Results A total of 72 patients were included for analysis. The average age of patients at their initial otolaryngology visit was 3.3 months (range 0.08-1.67 years); 38 (52.8%) patients were males. Aural atresia involved the right ear in 43 (59.7%) cases. Five (6.9%) patients were syndromic. Abnormal audiometric testing of the normal ear was noted in 12 (16.7%), and 14 (19.4%) underwent TT during the first 3 years of life. Twelve children (85.7%) who had a TT placed were nonsyndromic. When compared to published norms for TT placement in the general population (6.8% of children < 3 year of age), a greater proportion of children with unilateral microtia/aural atresia had TT placement in the normal ear (z = 4.26, P < 0.0001). Conclusion Patients with unilateral microtia/aural atresia have increased rates of hearing loss and middle ear effusion leading to TT in their normal ear at a higher rate versus the general population. This information can help guide more vigilant care and audiologic follow-up in affected children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1474
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Microtia
  • conductive hearing loss
  • congenital aural atresia
  • tympanostomy tubes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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