Chronic perilymphatic fistulas were created in guinea pig cochleas using silicone rubber tubing placed into the scala tympani through the round window. Fistula patency was determined by fluorescein perfusion into cerebral spinal fluid. Fistulas were found to be patent in 6 of 6 animals at 7 days and 8 of 13 animals at 28 days. Analysis of ABRs revealed threshold increases of 10 to 15 dB across all frequencies at 1 hour and 7 days. However, thresholds returned to pre-fistula levels by 28 days. Animals with acute fistulas (simple laceration of the round window) had similar threshold increases at 1 hour; however, recovery to baseline levels occurred by day 7. Control animals with intact round windows did not have threshold shifts. Scanning electron microscopy revealed hair cell loss localized to the apical and basal turns of the cochlea. The morphologic changes observed occurred acutely (within 7 days) and were not progressive, despite the presence of a fistula. Hair cell loss or degeneration did not correlate with hearing loss.
ASJC Scopus subject areas