Cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli: An animal model

Michal Preis, Joseph Attias, Tuvia Hadar, Ben I. Nageris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Pathologic third window has been investigated in both animals and humans, with a third window located in the vestibular apparatus, specifically, dehiscence of the superior semicircular canal, serving as the clinical model. HYPOTHESIS: The present study sought to examine the effect of a cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli on the auditory thresholds in fat sand rats that have a unique anatomy of the inner ear that allows for easy surgical access. METHODS: The experiment included 7 healthy 6-month-old fat sand rats (a total of 10 ears). A pathologic third window was induced by drilling a hole in the bony labyrinth over the scala vestibuli, with preservation of the membranous labyrinth. Auditory brainstem responses to high- and low-frequency acoustic stimuli delivered via air and bone conduction were recorded before and after the procedure. RESULTS: In the preoperative auditory brainstem response recordings, air-conduction thresholds (ACTs) to clicks and tone bursts averaged 9 and 10 dB, respectively, and bone-conduction thresholds averaged 4.5 and 2.9 dB, respectively. Postfenestration ACTs averaged 41 and 42.2 dB, and bone-conduction thresholds averaged 1.1 and 4.3 dB. The change in ACT was statistically significant (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: The presence of a cochlear third window in the scala vestibuli affects auditory thresholds by causing a decrease in sensitivity to air-conducted sound stimuli. These findings agree with the theoretical model and clinical findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-660
Number of pages4
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Cochlea
  • Scala vestibuli
  • Third window

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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