Location and Timing of Initial Osteoid Deposition in Postmeningitic Labyrinthitis Ossificans Determined by Multiple Fluorescent Labels

Steven P. Tinling, J. Colton, Hilary A Brodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Variable amounts of fibrosis and neo-ossification fill the cochlea following bacterial meningitis. The purpose of the study was to delineate the timing and location of initial ossification following pneumococcal meningitis, as well as subsequent remodeling and resorption, over the 3-month period after infection. Study Design: Randomized, double-blind study. Methods: Fluorochromes are compounds that specifically incorporate into ossifying bone. Sequential addition of different colored fluorochromes during osteoneogenesis define the timing and location of osteoid deposition and mineralization. Mongolian gerbils were infected by intrathecal injection of Streptococcus pneumoniae type 3, and control gerbils received saline. Both groups were injected with calcein on postoperative day 3, followed by xylenol orange, oxytetracycline, and alizarin red on days 7, 14, and 28 respectively. Ten experimental gerbils were killed 24 hours after each label, and an additional group at 84 days after infection. Two groups of 10 control gerbils were killed at 29 and 84 days after treatment. The temporal bones and tibias were harvested, embedded in plastic, and sliced with a diamond saw. Wafers at a thickness of 200 μm were mounted in sequence and examined. Results: Sixteen of 49 experimental animals (33%) were positive for at least one of the fluorescent labels. Fluorescent labeled osteoid was present at all sampling times. Label extended from the endosteal wall into the lumen of the scala tympani between the vestibule and the round window membrane. Discrete sites of fluorescence varied among specimens and were associated with the opening of the cochlear aqueduct, the scala tympani, organ of Corti, and the stria vascularis and spiral ligament in all turns from base to apex. Conclusion: The results indicate that osteoid is deposited and begins mineralization by day 3 after infection, at least, and continues, at least, through the first 28 days after infection. There was no apparent resorption of new bone and remodeling by 84 days after infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Bone disease
  • Cochlea
  • Cochlear implant
  • Fluorochrome
  • Labyrinthitis ossificans
  • Meningitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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