Laser Doppler flowmetry was used to assess cochlear blood flow (CBF) in the hydropic ear in four experiments. 1) The increase in CBF elicited by local electrical stimulation of the cochlea in the hydropic ear was compared to that observed in normal controls. The magnitude of the evoked CBF change was reduced by approximately 30% in the hydropic ear compared to the normal ear. 2) The reduction in CBF evoked by direct electrical stimulation of the superior cervical ganglion was reduced by approximately one third in the hydropic ear compared to a normal ear. 3) Rhythmic (flux motion or vasomotion) variations in CBF, observed in association with lower blood pressure and thought to extend the autoregulatory range in an organ system, were reduced or eliminated in the hydropic ear. 4) The autoregulatory response to a decreased perfusion pressure, produced by decreased cardiac output, was clearly reduced relative to control in the hydropic ear. These findings represent the first report of significant CBF changes with hydrops. They are consistent with reports of increased sensitivity of the hydropic ear to trauma and stress and may be relevant considerations in the treatment of hydrops in humans.
- electrical stimulation
- guinea pig
- inner ear
- sympathetic autonomic nervous system
ASJC Scopus subject areas