Low-intensity loser stapedotomy has been shown to produce temperature elevations of 3°C to 4°C within the cochlea. This study investigates the effect of temperature elevations in this range on cochlear outer hair cell function by use of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions in rabbits. Using esophageal temperature monitoring, we compared 2f1-f2 distortion- product otoacoustic emissions over a range of frequencies (1806 to 8691 Hz) at rabbit normothermia, normothermia plus 3°C, and normothermia after passive cooling. Cochlear temperature was found to exceed changes in esophageal temperature by as much as 1.2°C. We found that a maximum of 3°C elevation in esophageal temperature did not permanently impair outer hair cell function in the rabbit cochlea. Results of this study suggest that moderate changes in cochlear temperature, such as those produced by low- intensity CO2 and holmium-yttrium aluminum garnet lasers, may not produce irreversible thermal damage to the cochlear outer hair cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas