Basilar skull fractures in children

Maisie Liu-Shindo, Donald B. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In this paper we are reporting a retrospective study of patients under 18 years of age managed at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center from January 1979 through December 1987 with the diagnosis of basilar skull fracture. Sixty-two patients with basilar skull fractures were admitted during that 7 1 2 year period. The most common etiology was pedestrian versus vehicle accidents (42%), followed by falls (27%), vehicle accidents (23%), and being hit by an object (8%). The most common physical findings were hemotympanum (58%) and bleeding in the ear canals (47%). Thirty-four percent of the patients complained of hearing loss. Cerebrospinal fluid otorrhea was noted in 16 patients (26%), while only 1 patient had cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. Facial nerve paralysis was present in 8 patients (13%). Vestibular symptoms were rare. Sixty-three percent of the patients had the diagnosis confirmed by radiography. The clinical presentation, complications, management and outcome of basilar skull fractures in the pediatric population are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Basilar skull fracture
  • Cerebrospinal otorrhea and rhinorrhea
  • Facial nerve paralysis
  • Temporal bone fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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