Inflammatory / infectious / autoimmune / systemic disorders

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 8 February 2018, last major update October 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Labyrinthitis [title] pathology

Cite this page: Pernick, N. Labyrinthitis. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/earlabyrinthitis.html. Accessed July 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Inflammation of inner ear secondary to various causes
  • Rare today due to antibiotics for otitis media, syphilis and other diseases
  • Serous: mildest form; due to local irritant such as acute or chronic otitis media without bacterial invasion of inner ear, temporal bone or meningitis; has accumulation of granular eosinophilic material within labyrinth or perilymphatic spaces with mild endolymphatic hydrops
  • Suppurative: neutrophils and bacteria are present in perilymphatic spaces; may destroy sensory end organs and membranous labyrinth
  • Chronic: due to local osteitis of otic capsule secondary to prior acute suppurative labyrinthitis or chronic inflammation of membranous labyrinth
  • Ossifying: end stage of suppurative labyrinthitis with ossification of labyrinthian structures but no inflammatory infiltrate
  • Viral: due to mumps, measles, CMV; viral cytopathic changes are present in scala media
  • Complications include involvement of intracranial structures (meningitis, venous thrombophlebitis, intracranial abscess, facial nerve paralysis, otic hydrocephalus)
Case reports