Ear, Short


Objective: Median longitudinal ear length greater than 2 SD below the mean

Subjective: Apparently decreased length of the ear


Ear length is determined by the maximal distance from the superior aspect to the inferior aspect of the external ear. Normal values are available from birth to 16 years of age [Feingold and Bossert, [1974]; Hall et al., [2007]] and birth to 18 years of age [Farkas, [1981]] specific for sex. Adult values for length and width, separated by sex, are published from a sample of US Army personnel (Tech Report NATICK/TR-89/027, pp 89-90) but these are difficult to obtain. Adult Japanese data are also available [Itoh et al., [2001]]. Both adult sets suggest ears increase in length into adulthood and ears in males are larger than those in females. Subjective assessment of the length of the ear is markedly influenced by the other craniofacial dimensions and easily distorted. For this reason we strongly support measurements in assessing ear length. Subjective assessments of shortness of the ear should only be used if unavoidable. The commonly used term Microtia is a bundled term comprising decreased length and width (surface area).

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