The combination of labyrinthitis and sinus thrombosis complicating suppurations of the middle ear occurs more frequently than is commonly believed. Of the seven cases of suppurative labyrinthitis which I have studied histologically, two presented this combination. The labyrinthitis and the sinus thrombosis may be independent of one another, each being caused by the original infection of the middle ear extending along different routes. When one is the direct cause of the other, thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus is usually secondary to the labyrinthitis. However, at times the reverse is true.
PATHWAYS OF INFECTION
Infection of the labyrinth may spread to the sigmoid sinus along preformed as well as along newly formed pathways. The saccus endolymphaticus and the labyrinthine veins are the most common of the preformed routes. The newly formed pathways consist of fistulasfrom within the labyrinth through the semicircular canals or through the body of the labyrinth.Preformed Pathways.
DRUSS JG. LABYRINTHITIS AND SINUS THROMBOSIS COMPLICATING SUPPURATION OF THE MIDDLE EAR. Arch Otolaryngol. 1934;19(6):671–683. doi:10.1001/archotol.1934.03790060020003
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