The round window membrane has been considered as a pathway for the passage of toxic substances from the middle ear cavity to the vestibular labyrinth in cases of otitis media. To determine the role of the round window membrane in this passage, chinchillas were given intrabullar inoculations with staphylococcal exotoxin and the round window membranes were examined electron microscopically. We observed cytoplasmic vacuolization, intercellular edema, cellular and nuclear swelling of the surface epithelia and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) infiltration of the fibrous layer. Light microscopic observation of the labyrinth revealed PMN infiltration of the most basal portion of the scala tympani. These findings demonstrate a chemotactic effect of the toxin for PMNs and support the ccr.;ept of the round window membrane as an important avenue of entry.
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Dec 1981|