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Am J Otolaryngol. 1985 Sep-Oct;6(5):358-67.

Gentamicin tympanoclysis: effects on the vestibular secretory cells.


Gentamicin application to the middle ear may relieve Meniere's disease, presumably by reducing endolymph secretion by the dark cells. To explore this possibility, the ears of adult cats were treated with daily intratympanic infusions of gentamicin until ataxia occurred. The temporal bones of these cats were then examined using electron microscopy. A 3 per cent solution of gentamicin resulted in ataxia after four treatments. Acute dark cell damage to basal infoldings seen after one month persisted at six months. Treatment with a 0.3 per cent solution required 15 and 21 days to effect ataxia and resulted in a similar damage pattern. Treatment with the 0.3 per cent solution for 13 days (i.e., before ataxia developed) resulted in subtle early lesions in the basal infoldings. Such lesions might affect the rate of endolymph secretion.

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