Is there a close relationship between changes in amplitudes of distortion product otoacoustic emissions and hair cell damage after exposure to realistic industrial noise in guinea pigs?

  • V. Linss
  • E. Emmerich
  • F. RichterEmail author
  • W. Linss


In long-term experiments in awake guinea pigs (n=12), distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) at various frequencies were measured repeatedly over 6–8 months. About 9 weeks after the first measurement, the animals were exposed to industrial noise (car industry, maximal intensity about 110 dB SPL) for 2 h. The amplitudes of DPOAE were measured prior to noise exposure and 10 min, 70 min, 1 day and 2 days after the noise exposure and then once every week. Three to four months after noise exposure, the animals were killed, and the cochleae were prepared for scanning electron microscopy. The row of inner hair cells (IHCs) was complete in all animals, while the rows of outer hair cells (OHCs) showed a considerable hair cell loss in some of the animals without a correlation to the change in amplitudes of DPOAE. However, a closer relationship between the decline of amplitudes of DPOAE and the number of missing and changed OHCs (fused stereocilia bundles, missing tip links) could be established. The number of lost OHC does not reflect the decline in DPOAE in all cases. This discrepancy must be considered when the degree of hearing loss needs to be established from changed DPOAE.


Long-term experiments Guinea pig Distortion product otoacoustic emission Hair cell loss Industrial noise 



The authors would like to thank Mrs. G. Kruse for her assistance in DPOAE measurements and Mrs. U. Rother and Mrs. M. Theune for the preparation of the cochleae, Mrs. J.-M. Herrmann for the SEM operation and Mr. M. Szabó for the SEM image preparation. This work was supported by the Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrungsmittel und Gaststätten, Geschäftsbereich Prävention.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Anatomy IFriedrich Schiller University of JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Physiology IFriedrich Schiller University of JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.ASMEC Advanced Surface Mechanics GmbHRadebergGermany

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