Labyrinthitis ossificans: histopathologic consideration for cochlear implantation

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991 Mar;104(3):320-6. doi: 10.1177/019459989110400306.


Labyrinthitis ossificans may be a hindrance to cochlear implantation by making electrode insertion difficult. We performed a histopathologic study of 24 temporal bones with labyrinthitis ossificans from multiple causes. The organ of Corti was graphically reconstructed and the degree of obstruction was estimated for each millimeter of the cochlea. Correlations were calculated between the degree of new bone formation and the cause, patient's age and sex, and time from the original temporal bone insult. Our results demonstrate that complete cochlear ossification is rare. The scala tympani in the basal turn of the cochlea is the most frequent area of ossification, regardless of the cause of the labyrinthitis ossificans. Meningogenic labyrinthitis, usually a childhood disease, was associated with the greatest amount of ossification. When ossification resulted from tympanogenic labyrinthitis, the scala tympani was completely ossified near the round window niche in all temporal bones. Neo-ossification of the basal turn associated with otosclerosis was limited to the proximal 6 mm of the scala tympani in all cases. Three temporal bones had a patent round window niche and basal turn, but significant apical and middle-turn ossification. Peripheral sensorineural elements were severely degenerated in the region of the ossification in all specimens, and spiral ganglion cell counts were decreased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Duct / pathology
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Labyrinthitis / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ossification, Heterotopic / pathology*
  • Otosclerosis / pathology
  • Round Window, Ear / pathology
  • Scala Tympani / pathology
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology
  • Temporal Bone / pathology