A Biochemical Analysis of the Stapes

Med Sci Monit. 2019 Apr 12:25:2679-2686. doi: 10.12659/MSM.913635.


BACKGROUND Otosclerosis is a primary disease of the bony labyrinth. In the course of otosclerosis, abnormal resorption and recalcification of the endochondral layer of the temporal bone is observed. The otosclerotic process most commonly develops in the anterior part of the oval window. MATERIAL AND METHODS We analyzed stapes superstructures from 4 patients undergoing surgery for otosclerosis. The first step involved tissue assessment under a scanning electron microscope. The resulting images were analyzed in terms of morphological changes. The stapes superstructure was then divided into small "ossicles", including fragments from the closest vicinity of the stapes footplate and a fragment of the head of the stapes. This material was examined using a scanning electron microscope with a unit for chemical analysis in microareas. RESULTS Chemical analysis confirms the appearance of considerable quantities of the following elements: carbon, oxygen, potassium, and calcium, and the appearance of small quantities of sodium and magnesium. Based on a detailed analysis of the chemical composition, these fragments could represent a calcium phosphate compound from the following system: CaO-P₂O₅-H₂O. Fragments of the superstructure from the region closest to the base of the stapes demonstrated a considerably larger presence of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, which most likely suggests an increased metabolic process in this region. CONCLUSIONS Our analysis revealed an increased metabolic activity in the closest vicinity of the otosclerotic focus, the fissula ante fenestram. The increased metabolism correlated with the bone tissue changes seen on scanning electron microscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium Phosphates / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Stapes / anatomy & histology
  • Stapes / metabolism*
  • Stapes / ultrastructure


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • calcium phosphate