Evaluation of procedures to reduce fluid flow in the fistulized Guinea-pig cochlea

A. N. Salt, N. Inamura, R. Thalmann, A. R. Vora

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The rate of longitudinal flow of fluid in scala tympani (ST) has been quantified under a number of experimental conditions. the method used to measure flow involved using a tracer ion (trimethylphenylammonium: TMPA) as a volume flow marker. Movement of marked perilymph was monitored by ion-selective microelectrodes which were capable of detecting exceedingly low concentrations of TMPA. Our results show that when the cochlea is perforated at the apex, flow rates of 400-500 nl/min are induced in ST, compared to the normal very slow rate of 2 nl/min when the cochlea is sealed. This artifactual flow of CSF through the perforated cochlea can be reduced to 6.9 nl/min by releasing the hydrostatic pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or further reduced to 1.8 nl/min by surgically obstructing the cochlear aqueduct. in addition, we observed no basally-directed flow in ST when the round window (RW) was perforated, demonstrating that perilymph is not produced in volume as previously assumed. This study demonstrates the importance of separating artifactual flows, induced by the experimental procedures required to access the cochlear fluids, from the low flow rates which occur in normal, physiologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-907
Number of pages9
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • Cochlea
  • Cochlear aqueduct
  • Perilymph
  • Perilymph fistula


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