In a previous paper (this volume) we described a method for evaluating the cochlear microvasculature. This method was applied to the analysis of lateral wall tissue from chinchillas sacrificed 1 h, 24 h, l week and 3 weeks after surgical rupture of Reissner's membrane. The degree, direction, and time course of pathological changes seen in the microvessels were different for the system of stria vascularis vessels, the system of spiral ligament vessels, and the system of spiral prominence vessels. These results indicate that it is important to evaluate all of the lateral wall vessels rather than just the stria vascularis, and emphasize the importance of dividing the microvasculature into three independent systems, in order to obtain a clearer perspective on microvascular changes which occur following cochlear trauma. © 1985.
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