Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging of the Inner Ear: A Feasibility Study With Implications for Cochlear Implantation

Lin, James; Staecker, Hinrich; Jafri, M. Samir
May 2008
Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology;May2008, Vol. 117 Issue 5, p341
Academic Journal
Cochlear implantation is now being performed in ears with residual hearing. Those implant recipients who keep residual hearing may benefit from improved pitch resolution through both electrical and acoustic hearing. Preservation of cochlear function after implantation is a challenging task for the surgeon. Current topics of hearing preservation research include electrode design and surgical technique. To maintain hearing, surgeons strive to create a cochleostomy and place the electrode in a minimally traumatic fashion. In this study, we examine a novel catheter-based real-time imaging modality with 10- to 15-μm resolution, optical coherence tomography (OCT), on the inner ear. We demonstrate the capability of OCT to allow visualization of inner ear structures through bone in live mice. We additionally used OCT to image the inner ear in a human temporal bone. Optical coherence tomography was able to delineate soft tissue structures within the cochlea and may be useful as an adjunct to cochlear implantation. Other potential otologic applications of OCT are discussed.


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