It is well known that high-intensity acoustic stimuli, both air conducted and bone conducted, create cochlear injuries which are greatest in the upper basal turn and are manifested by high-tone hearing losses. The effects of ultrasonic acoustic stimuli of high intensity are less well understood. Beck1 has recently demonstrated histological changes of the organ of Corti from ultrasonic stimulation of the cochlear capsule of guinea pigs. New clinical and industrial tools are being made which generate ultrasonic frequencies, and the question is being raised as to the danger of cochlear damage. The attenuation of ultrasonic waves in air is great, so that damage by this route is not likely to occur. When ultrasonic vibratory instruments are applied to the skull, however, a more efficient transmission by bone occurs.
One such device which is being introduced for clinical use, mainly in dentistry, is the Cavitron instrument * (Fig. 1). It is
PAPARELLA MM. A High-Frequency Microvibrator: Bioacoustical Effects. Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;74(2):220–228. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740030225018
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