Cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli: an animal model.Otol Neurotol. 2009 Aug; 30(5):657-60.ON
Pathologic third window has been investigated in both animals and humans, with a third window located in the vestibular apparatus, specifically, dehiscence of the superior semicircular canal, serving as the clinical model.
The present study sought to examine the effect of a cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli on the auditory thresholds in fat sand rats that have a unique anatomy of the inner ear that allows for easy surgical access.
The experiment included 7 healthy 6-month-old fat sand rats (a total of 10 ears). A pathologic third window was induced by drilling a hole in the bony labyrinth over the scala vestibuli, with preservation of the membranous labyrinth. Auditory brainstem responses to high- and low-frequency acoustic stimuli delivered via air and bone conduction were recorded before and after the procedure.
In the preoperative auditory brainstem response recordings, air-conduction thresholds (ACTs) to clicks and tone bursts averaged 9 and 10 dB, respectively, and bone-conduction thresholds averaged 4.5 and 2.9 dB, respectively. Postfenestration ACTs averaged 41 and 42.2 dB, and bone-conduction thresholds averaged 1.1 and 4.3 dB. The change in ACT was statistically significant (p < 0.01).
The presence of a cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli affects auditory thresholds by causing a decrease in sensitivity to air-conducted sound stimuli. These findings agree with the theoretical model and clinical findings.