We have tested the hypothesis that the cause of cochlear dysfunction associated with perilymphatic fistula (PLF) is closely related to endolymphatic hydrops (ELH). Using guinea pigs, we studied the tone-burst elicited compound action potential (CAP) and its modulation as caused by a 50 Hz biasing tone in experimental PLF. We compared these results with those of experimental ELH. Following perilymph aspiration through the perforated round window membrane, mild but significant elevations of CAP thresholds at tested frequencies were found. A reduction in the amplitude of cochlear microphonics (CM) for a 50 Hz sine wzve appeared to correlate with these CAP threshold changes. However, there were no significant changes in the modulation effect of the 50 Hz biasing tone on the CAP elicited by an 8 kHz tone burst. This finding differed from that in ears with experimental ELH, in which significant reductions of both 50 Hz CM and the degree of CAP modulation were consistently observed. We concluded that it is unlikely that the underlying mechanisms of a modification to the low frequency response of the base of the cochlea following perilymph aspiration is linked to that of experimental ELH. © 1992.
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