Bone density measurements using high-resolution CT have been reported to be useful to diagnose fenestral otosclerosis. However, small region of interest (ROI) chosen by less-experienced radiologists may result in false-negative findings. Semi-automatic analysis such as CT histogram analysis may offer improved assessment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of CT histogram analysis in diagnosing fenestral otosclerosis. Temporal bone CT of consecutive patients with otosclerosis and normal controls was retrospectively analyzed. The control group consisted of the normal-hearing contralateral ears of patients with otitis media, cholesteatoma, trauma, facial nerve palsy, or tinnitus. All CT images were obtained using a 64-detector-row CT scanner with 0.5-mm collimation. AROI encompassing 10 × 10 pixels was placed in the bony labyrinth located anterior to the oval window. The mean CT value, variance and entropy were compared between otosclerosis patients and normal controls using Student’s t test. The number of pixels below mean minus SD in the control (%Lowcont) and total subjects (%Lowtotal) were also compared. In addition, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) value for the discrimination between otosclerosis patients and normal controls was calculated. 51 temporal bones of 38 patients with otosclerosis and 30 temporal bones of 30 control subjects were included. The mean CT value was significantly lower in otosclerosis cases than in normal controls (p < 0.01). In addition, variance, entropy, %Lowcont and %Lowtotal were significantly higher in otosclerosis cases than in normal controls (p < 0.01, respectively). The AUC values for the mean CT value, %Lowcont and %Lowtotal were 0.751, 0.760 and 0.765, respectively. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that histogram analysis of CT image may be of clinical value in diagnosing otosclerosis.
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