Histopathologic and ultrastructural changes in the temporal bones of HIV-infected human adults

S. S. Chandrasekhar, V. Siverls, H. K. Chandra Sekhar

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25 Scopus citations


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a devastating disease that is affecting the human population in epidemic numbers. Patients with AIDS are known to have a significant incidence of otologic disease, including hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, otalgia, and infection with unusual pathogens. There has been no previous work on the histopathology of this disease. Ten temporal bones from five patients who were seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative retrovirus of AIDS, were obtained. Seven specimens were analyzed using light microscopic techniques. Electron microscopy was performed on selected areas of pathology. A myriad of pathologic findings was seen, including severe petrositis with marrow replacement, mastoiditis, otitis media, ossicular destruction, precipitations in the perilymphatic and endolymphatic spaces of the vestibule and of the semicircular canals, and subepithelial elevation of the neurosensory epithelium of the saccule and utricle. The organ of Corti was relatively free of pathologic change. Many of the otologic symptoms encountered in these patients can be explained by the findings in this study. Further investigation using light and electron microscopy, and immunohistochemical techniques, is urged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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