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Audiol Neurootol. 2012;17(5):338-48. doi: 10.1159/000339653. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

The effect of superior semicircular canal dehiscence on intracochlear sound pressures.

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1
Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA.

Abstract

Semicircular canal dehiscence (SCD) is a pathological opening in the bony wall of the inner ear that can result in conductive hearing loss. The hearing loss is variable across patients, and the precise mechanism and source of variability are not fully understood. Simultaneous measurements of basal intracochlear sound pressures in scala vestibuli (SV) and scala tympani (ST) enable quantification of the differential pressure across the cochlear partition, the stimulus that excites the cochlear partition. We used intracochlear sound pressure measurements in cadaveric preparations to study the effects of SCD size. Sound-induced pressures in SV and ST, as well as stapes velocity and ear canal pressure were measured simultaneously for various sizes of SCD followed by SCD patching. Our results showed that at low frequencies (<600 Hz), SCD decreased the pressure in both SV and ST, as well as differential pressure, and these effects became more pronounced as dehiscence size was increased. Near 100 Hz, SV decreased by about 10 dB for a 0.5-mm dehiscence and by 20 dB for a 2-mm dehiscence, while ST decreased by about 8 dB for a 0.5-mm dehiscence and by 18 dB for a 2-mm dehiscence. Differential pressure decreased by about 10 dB for a 0.5-mm dehiscence and by about 20 dB for a 2-mm dehiscence at 100 Hz. In some ears, for frequencies above 1 kHz, the smallest pinpoint dehiscence had bigger effects on the differential pressure (10-dB decrease) than larger dehiscences (less than 10-dB decrease), suggesting larger hearing losses in this frequency range. These effects due to SCD were reversible by patching the dehiscence. We also showed that under certain circumstances such as SCD, stapes velocity is not related to how the ear can transduce sound across the cochlear partition because it is not directly related to the differential pressure, emphasizing that certain pathologies cannot be fully assessed by measurements such as stapes velocity.

PMID:
22814034
PMCID:
PMC3541532
DOI:
10.1159/000339653
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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