Quantitative assessment of vestibular otopathology in granulomatosis with polyangitis: A temporal bone study

Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2018 Nov 5;3(6):473-477. doi: 10.1002/lio2.182. eCollection 2018 Dec.


Objective: To investigate the temporal bone histopathology of vasculitis, especially in the vestibular organs, in granulomatosis with polyangitis (GPA).

Methods: Using light and differential interference contrast microscopy, we examined 12 human temporal bones from six deceased GPA patients and 12 histopathologically normal human temporal bones from six deceased age-matched patients.

Results: In the GPA group, three patients had undergone tympanostomy tube placement. Two of them had suffered mixed hearing loss; one, sensorineural hearing loss; and one, conductive hearing loss. Of the 12 specimens in the GPA group, the granulation tissue invaded the round window niche in seven; cochlear hair cells were not preserved in five. Hemosiderin was deposited in the stria vascularis in eight specimens, in the ampulla or semicircular duct in 10, and in the vestibule in three. The spiral ligament showed severe loss of cellularity in two specimens. In the GPA group, type I vestibular hair cell density was significantly decreased; however, type II vestibular hair cell density did not significantly differ between the GPA group and the control group.

Conclusion: Our histopathologic findings in human temporal bone specimens of GPA patients delineated changes in the tympanic membrane, middle ear cavity, round window membrane, organ of Corti, stria vascularis, spiral ligament, ampulla, semicircular duct, and vestibule. Type I vestibular hair cell density significantly decreased in the GPA group, as compared with the control group.

Level of evidence: N/A.

Keywords: Granulomatosis with polyangitis; hair cells; temporal bone; vertigo; vestibule.