Experimental Visualization of Labyrinthine Structure with Optical Coherence Tomography

Document Type : Original


1 Brain and Spinal cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

2 Institute of Mechatronic Systems, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Visualization of inner ear structures is a valuable strategy for researchers and clinicians working on hearing pathologies. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging technology which may be used for the visualization of tissues. In this experimental study we aimed to evaluate inner ear anatomy in well-prepared human labyrinthine bones.
Materials and Methods:
Three fresh human explanted temporal bones were trimmed, chemically decalcified with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and mechanically drilled under visual control using OCT in order to reveal the remaining bone shell. After confirming decalcification with a computed tomography (CT) scan, the samples were scanned with OCT in different views. The oval window, round window, and remnant part of internal auditory canal and cochlear turn were investigated.
Preparation of the labyrinthine bone and visualization under OCT guidance was successfully performed to a remaining bony layer of 300µm thickness. OCT images of the specimen allowed a detailed view of the intra-cochlear anatomy.
OCT is applicable in the well-prepared human inner ear and allows visualization of soft tissue parts.


Main Subjects

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