Issue N# 1 - 1999
Temporal bone pathology findings due to drowning
Authors : K. Kaga, T. Nitou, J. I. Suzuki, T. Tsuzuku (Tokyo)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol 1999;120,1:27-29.
Article published in english
It has been reported that anoxia due to near-drowning or near-suffocation causes brain damage but not inner ear damage. On the other hand, it has been shown that brain death causes both brain damage and inner ear damage. However, studies of temporal bone pathology resulting from sudden death due to drowning are few. We studied temporal bone pathology in six cases of individuals who died of accidents due to drowning. In all temporal bones examined, we found extensive congestion petechiae and haemorrhage in the vessels in the mucosal layers of the middle ear and mastoid air cells, as well as in the vessels around the facial nerve and carotid canal. In the inner ear, there was no abnormality in Corti's organ or the vestibular organs, except in one case who died in the bath. Our findings suggest that petechiae haemorrhage or congestion in the vessels of the mucosal layer and the vessels themselves of the middle ear occurs upon acute death due to drowning.