Ossification of the cochlea

Timothy C. Hain, MD • Page last modified: March 4, 2021

The cochlea of the inner ear is supposed to be filled with fluid, similar to water (endolymph and perilymph).

After infection or surgery, it may be replaced by bone.


Ossified cochlea

On the image above, following a retro-sigmoid approach removal of an acoustic neuroma, there is extensive ossification of the cochleas. The arrow points to the cochlea. The white flecks within the cochlea is ossification. There are also bony defects from the surgery to remove the acoustic. The labyrinth was completely removed. The IAC is enlarged on the right from the surgery.

Similar findings but without the loss of bone may be seen in persons who had bacterial meningitis in the past.