Autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss: A human temporal bone study

Dick L. Hoistad, Patricia A. Schachern, Michael M. Paparella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe histopathologic findings in temporal bones of a patient whose clinical history suggests a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) of autoimmune origin. Materials and Methods: Temporal bones from a patient with a history of ulcerative colitis, leukemia, and SNHL were examined by light microscopy. Results: Histopathologic findings included: (1) organs of Corti missing or absent in all cochlear turns; (2) cells decreased in spiral ganglia, and lymphocytic infiltration; (3) absence of portions of the spiral prominence; (4) endolymphatic hydrops in basal, middle, and apical cochlear turns and in the saccule and utricle; (5) fibrosis and osteoneogenesis of a scala tympani of the basal turn of the cochlea, the posterior semicircular canal, and the canal of Cotugno; (6) fibrosis of the vestibular aqueduct and endolymphatic sac; and (7) lymphocytes in the endolymphatic sac, perisaccular area, inferior cochlear vein, and Rosenthal's canal. Conclusion: Histopathologic findings in the temporal bones of this patient with ulcerative colitis, sensorineural hearing loss, and vestibular symptoms closely parallel those in a previously reported animal study of autoimmunity and suggest the possibility of a SNHL of autoimmune origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

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