Superior semicircular canal dehiscence: a new indication for middle fossa craniotomy

Case report

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✓ Superior semicircular canal dehiscence is a recently described condition resulting in pressure-induced vertigo in affected patients. The diagnosis is established with the appearance of characteristic electronystagmographic and neuroimaging findings. This condition is amenable to surgical treatment by resurfacing of the dehiscence in the defect in the middle cranial fossa floor with preservation of superior semicircular canal function. The authors report on the treatment of a 35-year-old man with superior semicircular canal dehiscence by a joint neurosurgical and otolaryngological team.

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Address reprint requests to: Jonathan Martin, M.D., 2101 Plyers Mill Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20902. email:

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    Preoperative ENG tracings demonstrating torsional upbeating nystagmus in response to a 2-kHz stimulus at 120 dB.

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    Axial and coronal bone CT scans demonstrating the dehiscent right superior semicircular canal (arrows).

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    Intraoperative photograph demonstrating a dehiscent right superior semicircular canal at the arcuate eminence being treated via a standard middle fossa approach. GSPN = greater superficial petrosal nerve.



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