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Damage of the auditory system associated with acute blast trauma.

Author information

1
Department of Bioacoustics, University of Bari, Italy.

Abstract

This paper reviews the results of several studies on the effects of blast wave exposure on the auditory system of the chinchilla, the pig, and the sheep. The chinchillas were exposed at peak sound pressure levels of approximately 160 dB under well-controlled laboratory conditions. A modified shock tube was used to generate the blast waves. The pigs and sheep were exposed under field conditions in an instrumented hard-walled enclosure. Blast trauma was induced by the impact of a single explosive projectile. The peak sound pressure levels varied between 178 and 209 dB. All animals were killed immediately following exposure, and their temporal bones were removed for fixation and histologic analysis using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Middle ears were examined visually for damage to the conductive system. There were well-defined differences in susceptibility to acoustic trauma among species. However, common findings in each species were the acute mechanical fracture and separation of the organ of Corti from the basilar membrane, and tympanic membrane and ossicular failure.

PMID:
2497695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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