An experimental study of auditory dysfunction associated with hyperlipoproteinemia
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We sought to clarify whether or not hyperlipoproteinemia induces auditory dysfunction. In so doing, we studied the general states and cochlear pathologies of guinea pigs after the administration of a hyperlipid diet for 3 months. Serum biochemistries indicated marked elevations of cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. An increased auditory threshold varying from 10 to 20 dB was observed in 40% of the guinea pigs using auditory brainstem responses. Histochemical study of the inner ear revealed variations in lipid metabolism and partial disorders of the outer hair cells. Electron microscopic observations showed vacuolar and parenchymal protrusions on the surfaces of the stria vascularis and Corti's organ, and vacuolar degeneration was seen around the capillary vessels of the vascular stria. Our data has shown that the auditory dysfunction present in the inner ear was less marked than were the morphological changes seen. Our findings suggest that other factors besides hyperlipoproteinemia are involved in the development of severe auditory damage.
Key wordsHyperlipoproteinemia Auditory dysfunction Cochlea Histochemistry Electron microscopy
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