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May 1966

Histological Evidence for Localized Radial Flow of Endolymph

Author Affiliations

From the Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(5):406-412. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020408002

IT HAS been observed, through the use of a stain specific to endolymph,1 that even two months following rupture of Reissner's membrane by loud sounds, mingling of endolymph and perilymph takes place only in the region of the tear.2,3 Further experiments4 showed that, at least for several hours following a surgical incision of Reissner's membrane, there is little contamination of the endolymphatic space by perilymph basalward from the opening as determined by measurements of the electrical response from this region. These all suggest that the circulation of endolymph is local and radial and that any specific area of the organ of Corti is nutritionally independent of adjacent areas. Secretion and absorption of nutrient and waste material appear to take place continuously along the length of the scala media.

A further consideration of interest concerns how specific this local circulation is. Over what area does the radial circulation