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StatPearls . Endowment Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.


Continuing education Activity

Otosclerosis, additionally called otospongiosis, is an abnormal bone remodeling in the center ear in i beg your pardon a normal thick endochondral class of bony otic capsule in the bony labyrinth is changed by one or much more foci of irregularly laid spongy bone and most frequently involves the stapes region. This activity outlines the evaluation and treatment of otosclerosis and highlights the duty of the interprofessional team in assessing and treating patients v this condition.

Identify the etiology and epidemiology of otosclerosis.
Describe the proper history, physical examination, and also evaluation that otosclerosis.
List the administration options obtainable for otosclerosis.
Review some interprofessional team techniques for improving treatment coordination and communication to advance otosclerosis and also improve outcomes.
Access complimentary multiple an option questions ~ above this topic.


Otosclerosis (oto, “of the ear,” and sclerosis, “abnormal hardening of body tissue”), likewise known together otospongiosis, is one abnormal bone remodeling in the middle ear. The normal dense endochondral layer of the bony otic capsule in the labyrinth is changed by irregularly to adjust spongy bone leading to the permanent of the stapes.<1> Otosclerosis commonly reasons conductive deafness presenting v a normal tympanic membrane. Furthermore, relying on the foci of joining on the bony labyrinth, otosclerosis have the right to be asymptomatic or can existing as a neurosensory loss. Nevertheless, otosclerosis has an result on the functioning of the middle and also the inner ear.


The specific etiology the otosclerosis is still unclear. The multiple etiologies that have actually been postulated include:

Anatomical: The most commonly affected component seems to it is in the fissula ante fenestram, where the remnants that the embryonic cartilage persist.<2>   

Genetic: Many loci on chromosomes 6p, 9p, 1q, 3q, 6q, 7q, 15q, and 16q have actually been identified. In an open genome-wide analysis, a brand-new locus top top chromosome 7q22.1 has additionally been found. Besides, various genes that are affiliated including form I collagen (COL1A1 gene), TGF-beta 1 (BMP 2 and also BMP 4 genes), angiotensin II (AGT M235T and ACE I/D genes), sex hormones, autoimmune reaction, person leucocyte antigen, inflammatory and also regulatory cytokines, parathyroid hormone and expression of parathyroid hormone-related peptides receptors, and oxidative tension have additionally been pertained to as causes that otosclerosis.<3><4><5><6><7><8><9><10><11><12><13><14><15><16><17>

Hereditary: In more than half of the patient presenting with otosclerosis, there is a positive household history. Also, patients through a hopeful family background have an previously onset that otosclerosis. Genetic studies show that an autosomal dominant mode that inheritance with reduced penetrance (40%) and also a variable expressivity is discovered in most of the cases.<18><19><18><20><21>

Sex: The pervasiveness of otosclerosis is more in women compared to men suggesting the role of sex hormones.<22>

Ethnicity: Otosclerosis is much more common in Whites. However, that is rarer in the black color population.<23><24>

Age: Hearing lose is much more commonly seen between the 2nd and the 3rd decade.<25>

Pregnancy: pregnant does worsen hearing deactivated in osteosclerosis; however, the connection of pregnancy through otosclerosis is still controversial.<26> 

Viral Infections: The duty of measles virus epidemic in the pathogenesis of otosclerosis has actually been postulated. Measles virus ribonucleic acid has been detect in the footplate the stapes top top electron microscopy and also immunohistochemical studies. Moreover, vaccination versus measles virus is a security factor versus otosclerosis because of the significant decrease in the incidence of vaccinated populations.<27>

In enhancement to the above factors, menopause, trauma, or a significant operation have been linked with either bring about or aggravating otosclerosis.<26><28>


The prevalence of clinical otosclerosis is roughly 0.04% come 1% in the Whites.<18> Histological otosclerosis have the right to be together high as 10% compared to clinical otosclerosis in Whites.<29><30> Furthermore, the pervasiveness of histological otosclerosis in Blacks is 1%, and also in the Asian population is about 5%.<18> Otosclerosis is an early adult-onset an illness with an incidence greater in women contrasted to men in a ratio of 2:1.<19><18> Otosclerosis beginning in the twenties and thirties but usually walk not cause a hearing loss till after the fourth decade.<31>


Multiple etiological factors are involved with together bony dyscrasias. Bone remodeling occurs in your ar within the otic capsule v bone resorption adhered to by bone deposition in the focus lesions.<32> Though such remodeling occurs in various other bones the the body, it is physiologically not watched in the otic capsule. The lesion is a replacement of common bone v sclerotic or spongiotic bone. The histological disease progresses in stages.

Osteolytic osteocytes show up on the leading edge that the lesion, and also connective organization sheets can be seen replacing the bone. Thick sclerotic bone development in locations of the ahead resorption signifies the late phase of otosclerosis. The result is disorganized bone, the increased number of osteocytes, and widened marrow spaces consisting of vessels and also other connective tissue.

Marrow spaces are later replaced by dense sclerotic bone through narrow vasculature and few recognizable Haversian systems. Pleomorphism is due to the normal coexistence the both stages of otosclerosis in any solitary temporal bone. The initiating lesion regularly neighbors the fissula ante fenestram and expand via vascular channels.<33> In the bulk of cases, lesions are restricted to the anterior oval home window and affect its pathology by calcification the annular ligament or by entailing the stapes. Both processes an outcome in conductive hearing loss.


Grossly, otosclerotic foci are chalky white, greyish, or yellowish in appearance. If the osteosclerotic centers are active and progressing rapidly, then they show up red because of increased vascularity. 

Microscopically, the thick enchondral great of the otic capsule shows up to contain the spongy bone. In immature active lesions the otosclerosis, there is plenty of marrow and vascular spaces with numerous osteoblasts and also osteoclasts. Also, over there is a large amount of cement substance the stains bluish-grey (blue mantles) through hematoxylin-eosin stain.<34> Less vascularity and much more bone and also fibrillar substance 보다 cementum space seen in the mature foci, and also it stains red.

History and Physical

The most regular presentation of patients v clinical otosclerosis is hearing loss. Also, tinnitus and also vertigo can occur. That is critical to take a comprehensive clinical history. Usually, the patient through otosclerosis presents with bilateral hearing loss together the most typical symptom that has been progressively worsening over many years. Typically, it starts in one ear, and as that progresses, it involves the other ear.

The initial symptoms include gift unable to hear the low-frequency sounds, such as a whisper. Also, the patient may give a history that they can hear well in noisy surroundings termed as "paracusis willisii." though it is not certain of otosclerosis, the is indicative of conduction deafness. The patients themselves may speak in a low volume and a monotonous voice. As the an illness becomes extensive, tinnitus might worsen together well. Dizziness is usually mild, yet as the an illness progresses, dizziness may deteriorate, mimicking Meniere disease.<35>

On physical examination, otoscopy may reveal minimal details and may be normal. However, with energetic otosclerosis or cochlear otosclerosis, enhanced promontory vascularity may be visible v the eardrum and is clinically termed together the Schwartz sign.<36> However, this recognize is only evident in approximately 10%.<37><38>


Tuning Fork check

The tuning fork test reflects a an adverse Rinne test. Webers check is lateralized to the ear with significant conductive loss.

Audiometry and Tympanometry

Pure tone audiometry shows reduced frequency lose of wait conduction. However, bone conduction is normal. A bone conduction dip in thresholds of 20-30 dB and much more pronounced in ~ 2000 Hz is dubbed Carhart notch. ~ stapedectomy, Carhart notch disappears. A Carhart notch may likewise be current in instances of incus or malleus fixation and incudostapedial joint detachment.<39> Also, combined hearing loss can be seen in audiometry in patients with otosclerosis. The discrimination score is common speech audiometry. Generally, tympanometry is regular in early on otosclerosis. However, in significant cases, a flattening or a stiffness curve might be observed, indicating low compliance of the ossicular chain and also tympanic membrane. Tympanometry have the right to further differentiate otosclerosis indigenous the pathologies v low resonance, such together a disconnection in the middle ear bone system.

High-Resolution Computed Tomography (CT)

High-resolution computed tomography (CT) that the temporal skeletal is the standard selection to diagnose otosclerosis.<40> It aids in identifying and also ruling out other causes of deafness. In much more than 80% of the cases, the fenestral foci, situated in the area anterior come the oval window, have the right to be found. Also, the thickening the the footplate and also the round home window involvement can overview the treatment. Retrosternal focus visualized together a double halo sign is seen with cochlear otosclerosis.<41> A grading system suggested by Symons and also Fanning can be offered for CT grading that otosclerosis.<42>

Treatment / Management

Medical Management:

Medical therapy is mostly aimed to halt the development or come prevent condition progression. Over there is no clinical therapy the is curative because that otosclerosis. Though sodium fluoride is prescribed to slow the development of the otosclerosis, the efficacy is tho controversial.<43><44>

Bisphosphonates exert antiresorptive action, by inducing osteoclastic apoptosis. Bisphosphonates, in particular, newer generation bisphosphonates are typically used come treat otosclerosis with promising results.<32><45>

Bilateral hearing aids are additionally used in many patients, either alone or in combination with other treatments.

Surgical Management:

The therapy of an option is stapedotomy or stapedectomy, along with placement the a prosthesis. Surgical treatment for otosclerosis has shown good results, regardless of of the operation approaches. Revision surgery, if indicated for otosclerosis, is met through mixed success and maybe essential with face nerve damage, persistent vertigo, or failure to boost the hearing. Though surgical treatment is valuable to regain hearing, in a few of the patients, there may be a have to use hear aids after operation treatment.<46><1><47><48>

Differential Diagnosis

Other conditions of the ear which current with the conductive deafness and from i beg your pardon otosclerosis have to be distinguished include:


More than 90% that the patients suffer considerable innovation in their hearing ability after the surgery. Occasionally, there may be a couple of cases in i m sorry the surgical treatment yields no specific benefits. Worsening that the hearing lose has also been report rarely. Improved results have actually been recorded as soon as making use of laser techniques and also vein grafts.

Additionally, there is a opportunity of recurrence of the conductive hearing loss, which may be because of the displacement that the prosthesis the end of its original position. The cause is likely to it is in the convulsion of collagen in the neomembrane formed between the prosthesis and the labyrinth. It has been observed that revision surgical procedure is much less successful than the first surgery.<49><50>


Untreated otosclerosis can slowly progress towards substantial hearing loss, however complete hearing disabled is unusual.

Surgical mediate of otosclerosis can result in a complete sensorineural ns in the operated ear, yet it is an infrequent occurrence. Complications of the surgery that might arise space injury of the face nerve and tinnitus. Although short-lived, an uncomfortable taste can likewise occur, owing to the proximity that the chorda tympani when performing surgery. Moreover, about the effect of the introduced prosthesis, specific adverse outcomes that might arise space the erosion and necrosis the the incus and granuloma formation.<49>

Deterrence and also Patient Education

Patients must be advised because that follow increase in case of a family history of otosclerosis. It is vital to interact with the patient. Furthermore, pregnant can trigger otosclerosis, and also those patients who have actually hearing troubles during pregnancy have to be investigated because that otosclerosis.

Pearls and Other Issues

Otosclerosis is an early adult-onset disease that have the right to cause far-reaching disability and morbidity as result of hearing loss. Enhancing health professional understanding of just how to evaluate and treat this condition promptly will lead to far better patient outcomes.

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Enhancing health care Team Outcomes

Otosclerosis is a progressive condition and it s okay worse v the i of time, leading to complete hearing loss, for this reason causing disability. Interprofessional communication and also care coordination between otolaryngologist, surgeon, providers, job-related therapist, psychotherapist, and the registered nurses will improve the all at once outcomes because that the patients.