Histopathologic features of the temporal bone in patients with cystic fibrosis

Nadir Yildirim, Michihiko Sone, Cemil Mutlu, Patricia A. Schachern, Michael M. Paparella, Chap T. Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the lower than expected incidence of otitis media in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) through histopathologic evaluation of temporal bones and to document pathologic findings in the inner ears of patients with CF who received long-term administration of antibacterial and diuretic agents. Design: Clinical records of patients who died of CF were reviewed. Their temporal bones were sectioned, stained with hematoxylin-eosin, and examined histologically. Additional sections were stained with Alcian blue and periodic acid-Schiff for comparison of goblet cell densities from middle ears and auditory tubes of patients with CF with those of control temporal bones. Results were analyzed using the t test. Subjects: Twenty-one temporal bones from 11 patients with CF and 13 bones from 8 age-matched patients without CF were selected. Results: All temporal bones with CF had well-pneumatized mastoids. Temporal bones from 2 patients (3 ears) revealed histological findings of chronic otitis media with effusion. There was a statistically significant reduction in the density of goblet cells in the medial (P = .002) and lateral (P = .05) walls in patients with CF who had no otitis media histologically compared with control temporal bones. Two patients with CF who had otitis media had increased densities of goblet cells. Inner ear damage, due to ototoxic drugs, was seen in most of the temporal bones from patients with CF. Conclusion: Low densities of goblet cells in temporal bones with CF may contribute reduced amounts of viscous mucus, which can lead to a low incidence of otitis media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

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