Fine structure histopathology of Labyrinthitis ossificans in the Gerbil model

Vishad Nabili, Steven P. Tinling, Hilary A Brodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Labyrinthitis ossificans (LO) is the pathological deposition of new bone within the lumen of the cochlea and labyrinth. This process occurs most commonly as a result of infection or inflammation affecting the otic capsule. Trauma and vascular compromise can also lead to neo-ossification within the otic capsule. The mechanism that regulates this process remains unestablished. This study details the end-stage histopathology in high-resolution plastic thin sections. Twenty Mongolian gerbils were infected by intrathecal injection of Streptococcus pneumoniae type 3 followed by subcutaneous penicillin G procaine (8 days) and were painlessly sacrificed 3 months later. The cochleas were serially divided and sectioned for light and electron microscopy. Sixteen of 20 animals (27 of 40 cochleas) demonstrated LO. Cochlear damage was most extensive in the vestibule and basal turn and decreased toward the apex, which often appeared normal. The histopathologic findings consisted of 1) new bone, calcospherites, osteoid, and fibrosis without dense connective tissue or osteoblasts extending from the endosteal wall into the lumen of the vestibule and scala tympani; 2) areas of dense connective tissue and osteoid enclosed by epithelial cells conjoined with the organ of Corti, stria vascularis, spiral ligament, and vestibular (Reissner's) membrane; and 3) partial to complete loss of the organ of Corti, spiral ligament cell bodies, stria vascularis, and spiral ganglion cells. Osteoblastic activity was not demonstrated in end-stage ossification in LO in the gerbil model. Neoossification appears to occur by calcospherite deposition along collagen-like fibrils within osteoid. The destruction of the organ of Corti, spiral ganglion cells, stria vascularis, and cells of Reissner's membrane and the spiral ligament occurs even in the absence of ossification of the cochlear duct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Electron microscopy
  • Histopathology
  • Labyrinthitis ossificans
  • Meningitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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