Histopathology of the Human Inner Ear in the Cogan Syndrome with Cochlear Implantation

Audiol Neurootol. 2017;22(2):116-123. doi: 10.1159/000477534. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


The Cogan syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by nonsyphilitic interstitial keratitis and audiovestibular symptoms. Profound sensorineural hearing loss has been reported in approximately half of the patients with the Cogan syndrome resulting in candidacy for cochlear implantation in some patients. The current study is the first histopathologic report on the temporal bones of a patient with the Cogan syndrome who during life underwent bilateral cochlear implantation. Preoperative MRI revealed tissue with high density in the basal turns of both cochleae and both vestibular systems consistent with fibrous tissue due to labyrinthitis. Histopathology demonstrated fibrous tissue and new bone formation within the cochlea and vestibular apparatus, worse on the right. Severe degeneration of the vestibular end organs and new bone formation in the labyrinth were seen more on the right than on the left. Although severe bilateral degeneration of the spiral ganglion neurons was seen, especially on the right, the postoperative word discrimination score was between 50 and 60% bilaterally. Impedance measures were generally higher in the right ear, possibly related to more fibrous tissue and new bone found in the scala tympani on the right side.

Keywords: Cochlear implantation; Cogan syndrome; Histopathology; Human; Impedance; Sensorineural hearing loss; Vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cochlea / pathology*
  • Cochlea / surgery
  • Cochlear Implantation
  • Cogan Syndrome / pathology*
  • Cogan Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Ear, Inner / pathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / pathology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Labyrinthitis / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scala Tympani / pathology*
  • Spiral Ganglion / cytology
  • Spiral Ganglion / pathology*
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*
  • Temporal Bone / surgery