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Article
September 1979

Effect of Urea on Osmolality of Perilymph

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1979;105(9):538-541. doi:10.1001/archotol.1979.00790210036008
Abstract

• Blood osmolality was altered in chinchillas by intravenous administration of urea. Serum osmolality peaked rapidly at 30 minutes after administration and decreased slightly to a plateau for 180 minutes. Perilymph and CSF osmolality lagged substantially behind the increase in serum osmolality and equaled serum osmolality only after one hour. Perilymph osmolality followed changes in the serum up to 60 minutes with a definite time lag. This phenomenon suggests the existence of a selective blood-labyrinth barrier that is permeable to urea and water. However, the time lag due to the barrier may permit the reduction of hydrostatic pressure in the labyrinth. The results of the present study seem to render partial explanation of improved hearing in patients with Meniere's disease who were treated with urea.

(Arch Otolaryngol 105:538-541, 1979)

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