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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989 Sep;101(3):344-52.

Auditory brainstem prosthesis: biocompatibility of stimulation.

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Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0312.


As part of a program to develop a central auditory system prosthesis, we have examined the reaction of tissue to different levels of stimulation from electrodes chronically implanted in the cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig. Tolerance and histologic reaction to 20 hours of periodic electrical stimulation of the cochlear nucleus were analyzed. Intraoperative and postoperative electrically evoked middle latency responses were monitored during stimulus trials. The threshold necessary to generate the middle latency responses was frequently below 50 microA. In the animals that received 50 and 100 microA of biphasic charge-balanced stimulation (corresponding to approximately 200 and 400 microC/cm2 phase), adverse tissue reaction was minimal, and glial proliferation along the electrode tract never exceeded 25 microns in width. Stimulation intensities of 150 and 200 microA (approximately 600 and 800 microC/cm2 phase) produced significant tissue response at the site of the electrode terminus, with necrosis, cell loss, and reactive cells present. Therefore neuronal damage was observed to occur at an intensity far greater than that required for eliciting an electrophysiologic response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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