The cochlear nucleus in the human is divided into dorsal, superior ventral, and inferior ventral. Six component nerve cell types are recognized. Spheroid cells populate mainly the superior ventral nucleus. They appear to constitute the second-order neurons of the main afferent auditory pathway. They are especially sensitive to pathogenic factors. Their injury appears to be the pathologic basis for sensorineural hearing loss of central or so-called nuclear type. The superior ventral nucleus appears to show high-frequency dorsal to low-frequency ventral tonotopicity. The nucleus exhibits a high-tone vulnerability comparable to that of the organ of Corti. This nucleus may be used histopathologically as an index of injury of the cochlear nuclear complex. It can be divided into dorsally progressive strata whose degree of injury can be correlated with audiogram.
Dublin WB. Cytoarchitecture of the Cochlear Nuclei: Report of an Illustrative Case of Erythroblastosis. Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;100(5):355–359. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archotol.1974.00780040367007
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