Cryoprobe-induced apical lesions in the chinchilla. I. Morphological effects of lesioning parameters

J. Nadine Brown, Alfred L. Nuttall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To create experimental lesions localized to the low frequency region of the organ of Corti, a cryoprobe was applied to the apical area of 37 cochleas from 26 adult chinchillas. Twenty cochleas were exposed to single applications of a cryoprobe for 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 min; 17 cochleas were exposed to two applications of 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 min each with about a 3 min interval between applications. Cryoprobe tip temperature rose from about -140°C when placed on the apex to about -80°C after a continuous 3.5 min application. Survival time after lesioning was from 2 to 75 days, with most being 12 days or less. All cochleas except one sustained regions of damage characterized by complete absence of the organ of Corti and by missing hair cells indicated by extensive scarring. Inner hair cells were less susceptible to damage than were outer hair cells. Well-defined lesions which were continuous over the apical organ of Corti were found in some cochleas exposed to single probe applications, but such applications more often resulted in lesions which had areas of less damage. Of the various application protocols used, two applications of 1.5 min each, with an interval to allow the tissue to warm, most consistently produced severe and discrete apical lesions. In 9 of 13 cochleas exposed to two 1.5 min probe applications, such lesions extended about 35% or less of the distance from the apex. In most cochleas, regardless of the severity of the apical lesion, the pattern of hair cell rows and stereocilia configuration appeared normal in the basal 40-50% of the organ of Corti.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalHearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Apical lesion
  • Chinchilla
  • Cochlea
  • Cryolesion
  • Cryoprobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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