Influence of inner ear impedance on middle ear sound transfer functions

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Introduction: For experimental studies on sound transfer in the middle ear, it may be advantageous to perform the measurements without the inner ear. In this case, it is important to know the influence of inner ear impedance on the middle ear transfer function (METF). Previous studies provide contradictory results in this regard. With the current study, we investigate the influence of inner ear impedance in more detail and find possible reasons for deviations in the previous studies. Methods: 11 fresh frozen temporal bones were prepared in our study. The factors related to inner ear impedance, including round window membrane stiffness, cochleostomy, cochlea fluid and cochlea destruction were involved in the experimental design. After measuring in the intact specimen as a reference (step 1), the round window membrane was punctured (step 2), then completely removed (step 3). The cochleostomy was performed (step 4) before the cochlear fluid was carefully suctioned through scala tympani (step 5) and scala vestibuli (step 6). Finally, cochlea was destroyed by drilling (step 7). Translational and rotational movement of the stapes footplate were measured and calculated at each step. The results of the steps were compared to quantify the effect of inner ear impedance changing related to the process of cochlear drainage. Results: As the inner ear impedance decreases from step 1 to 7, the amplitudes of the METF curves at each frequency gradually increase in general. From step 6 on, the measured METF are significantly different with respect to the intact group at high frequencies above 3 kHz. The differences are frequency dependent. However, the significant decrement of rotational motion appears at the frequencies above 4.5 kHz from the step 5. Conclusion: This study confirms the influence of inner ear impedance on METF only at higher frequencies (≥3 kHz). The rotational motions are more sensitive to the drainage of fluid at the higher frequency. Study results that found no influence of cochlea impedance may be due to incomplete drainage of the cochlea.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27758
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-7295-4167/work/155840587
unpaywall 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e27758
Scopus 85188237450
PubMed 38524600