gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Cochleo-vestibular disorders in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Bertrand Gloddek - Ludmillenstift Abt. HNO, Meppen
  • Christoph Matthei - Ludmillenstift Abt. Pädiatrie, Meppen
  • Christoph Alexiou - Univ.-HNO Erlangen, Erlangen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno283

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Gloddek et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Some forms of sensori-neural hearing loss (SNHL) of unknown etiology might be due to an autoimmune disease of the inner ear. This idea is supported by the therapeutic success of corticosteroids.

In general autoimmune diseases might be organ-specific or organ-unspecific like lupus erythematodes of rheumatoid arthritis both known to appear with inner ear involvement.

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn`s disease are also thought of to be autoimmune mediated. Since the immune defense system of the labyrinth belongs like that of the gut to the mucosa-associated-lymphatic system (MALT), an inner ear involvement during theses diseases might be possible.

In this study 100 patients with chronic inflammatory gut diseaes were audiologically checked to determine the prevalence of hearing disorders in this group and was found to be 10%.

A typical case report from a 13 year old boy with cochleo-vestibular disorders with an underlying ulcerative colitis is demonstrated. Histological and radiological workup of this case puts emphasis on a common pathomechanism of both organ manifestations.

In conclusion all patients with chronic inflammatory diseases of the gut should be checked audiologically in order to clearify hearing disorders which might be in the background because of problems with the underlying main disease. Defining the pathomechanism of the bowel disease, esp. characterizing a potential autoantigen might be important to highlight the cause of an autoimmune inner ear disease.