An Unusual Presentation of Gout: Tophi in the Middle Ear

MUTLU A., Dundar E., Iseri M., Ercin C., ÇEFLE A.

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ADVANCED OTOLOGY, vol.12, no.2, pp.216-218, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/iao.2016.1293
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.216-218
  • Keywords: Gout, gouty tophus, hearing loss, uric acid, tympanosclerosis, TOPHACEOUS GOUT, EPIDEMIOLOGY


Gout is a common metabolic disease and is characterized by episodic acute and chronic arthritis caused by the deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in joints and connective tissues. The most commonly involved joint is the first metatarsophalangeal joint. It may also present with nonspecific complaints caused by gouty tophi in unusual sites of the body such as the spine, bone, and middle ear. Such involvements can be disabling and impair the quality of life. In this report, we describe the case of a patient who had complaints of hearing loss and otorrhea. A 34 year-old male patient presented with complaints of recurrent otorrhea and hearing loss for several months. He had no history of joint pain or constitutional symptoms at the time of admission. An otoscopic examination of the left ear revealed subtotal tympanic membrane perforation, and white middle ear plaques were detected. The patient underwent intact canal mastoidectomy under general anesthesia, and middle ear sclerosis was determined as Wieling Kerr classification type 2. Postoperative histopathologic examination of the specimen revealed amorphous eosinophilic deposits within fibrous stroma and tophi containing negatively birefringent MSU crystals by polarized light. After the histopathologic diagnosis of gout, the patient was assessed for peripheral joint involvement. He had no radiographic abnormalities. The patient was administered a serum urate-lowering therapy, given a low purine diet, and followed with the diagnosis of tophaceous gout. Unusual localizations of gouty tophi have been reported in the literature. Gouty tophi should also be considered in the differential diagnosis of middle ear masses alongside common pathologies.