The endolymphatic sac is believed to represent one of the primary loci for endolymph volume regulation in the inner ear. Quantitative analysis of physiologic measurements from the endolymphatic sac requires knowledge of the anatomy of the structure, specifically the luminal volume and the variation of cross-sectional area with distance along the sac. Recently techniques have become available to make these measurements. In the present study, fixed, isolated specimens of the guinea pig endolymphatic sac were imaged by high-resolution magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) or by histological serial sections. Structures were reconstructed and quantified using image analysis software. In specimens imaged by MRM the endolymphatic sac volume, including tissue and lumen, was 359 nl for the intraosseous region and 106 nl for the extraosseous region, totaling 465 nl for the entire structure. The luminal volumes were 131 nl for the intraosseous region and 13 nl for the extraosseous region, totaling 144 nl. In histological specimens the volume, including tissue and lumen, was 414 nl for the intraosseous region and 121 nl for the extraosseous region, totaling 535 nl for the entire structure. The luminal volumes were 152 nl for the intraosseous region and 26 nl for the extraosseous region, totaling 179 nl. Differences in volume estimates obtained by the two methods were not statistically significant and variation was dominated by inter-specimen variation. Pooling the data, the total volume of the endolymphatic sac in the guinea pig including tissue and lumen was 506 nl (S.D. 100, n=17) and the volume of the lumen was 169 nl (S.D. 48, n=14).
- Endolymphatic sac