Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol.  2020 May;13(2):106-112. 10.21053/ceo.2019.00766.

Extratympanic Observation of Middle and Inner Ear Structures in Rodents Using Optical Coherence Tomography

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine and Medical Research Institute, Busan, Korea
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea
  • 3Koh Young Technology Inc., Seoul, Korea


. This study aimed to investigate whether optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides useful information about the microstructures of the middle and inner ear via extratympanic approach and thereby could be utilized as an alternative diagnostic technology in ear imaging.
. Five rats and mice were included, and the swept-source OCT system was applied to confirm the extent of visibility of the middle and inner ear and measure the length or thickness of the microstructures in the ear. The cochlea was subsequently dissected following OCT and histologically evaluated to compare with the OCT images.
. The middle ear microstructures such as ossicles, stapedial artery and oval window through the tympanic membrane with the OCT could be confirmed in both rats and mice. It was also possible to obtain the inner ear images such as each compartment of the cochlea in the mice, but the bone covering bulla needed to be removed to visualize the inner ear structures in the rats which had thicker bulla. The bony thickness covering the cochlea could be measured, which showed no significant differences between OCT and histologic image at all turns of cochlea.
. OCT has been shown a promising technology to assess real-time middle and inner ear microstructures noninvasively with a high-resolution in the animal model. Therefore, OCT could be utilized to provide additional diagnostic information about the diseases of the middle and inner ear.


Optical Coherence Tomography; Otolaryngology; Optical Imaging; Cochlea; Middle Ear
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