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Histological effect of ultrasonic irradiation in Menière's disease


The lateral semicircular canal and the crista ampullaris from five patients previously treated with ultrasound for Menière's disease showed the following histological and ultrastructural changes:

  1. 1.

    The lateral semicircular canal was completely obliterated by dense connective and osteoid tissue.

  2. 2.

    In the subepithelial tissue in Crista ampullaris no signs of degeneration was found. The nerve fibers were normal.

  3. 3.

    Also the sensory cells with nerve-endings and supporting cells appeared normal.

  4. 4.

    In the transistional epithelium there was vacuolization and extensive swelling with protrusion of the cells into the endolymphatic space.

  5. 5.

    The secretory cells showed pronounced cellular vacuolization and increased intercellular space.

It is concluded that the massive destruction of the normal anatomy in the lateral semicircular canal may be the morphological basis of a functional endolymphatic fistula for drainage of the endolymphatic hydrops.

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Correspondence to Henning Sørensen.

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Sørensen, H., True, O. Histological effect of ultrasonic irradiation in Menière's disease. Arch Otorhinolaryngol 220, 251–257 (1978).

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Key words

  • Menière's disease
  • Ultrasound irradiation