Objective/Hypothesis To evaluate the clinical features, treatment, and outcomes of otologic manifestations in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) treated at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.
Study Design We retrospectively reviewed 15 cases of WG with ear involvement.
Methods Twenty-five patients with WG were treated at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine between 1992 and 2001. Fifteen of these patients had otologic symptoms. We evaluated the clinical course, method of therapy, and outcomes in all cases. Diagnosis of WG was made when the patients had clinical findings and a positive titer of cytoplasmic pattern antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (c-ANCA), or when there were clear histologic findings. We also present three case reports.
Results In 15 cases, the most frequent finding was chronic otitis media. Sensorineural hearing loss was present in 2 patients. In 7 patients whose otologic manifestations were the primary involvement of WG, all were confirmed positive for c-ANCA and were treated with glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive drugs. Three patients who could be treated within 1 month of symptom onset showed marked improvement.
Conclusions In localized cases, biopsy specimens are often small, and it is frequently difficult to make a histologic diagnosis. The prognosis for hearing was poor when appropriate treatment was not given in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, WG should be included in the differential diagnosis in cases of atypical inflammatory states of the ear. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are important to prevent irreversible changes in the middle ear and inner ear.