Vestibular tributaries to the vein of the vestibular aqueduct

Authors: Hansen, Jesper Marsner; Qvortrup, Klaus; Friis, Morten

Source: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Volume 131, Number 1, January 2011 , pp. 9-13(5)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Conclusion: The vein of the vestibular aqueduct drains blood from areas extensively lined by vestibular dark cells (VDCs). A possible involvement in the pathogenesis of an impaired endolymphatic homeostasis can be envisioned at the level of the dark cells area. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the vascular relationship between the vein of the vestibular aqueduct and the vestibular apparatus, with focus on the VDCs. Methods: Sixteen male Wistar rats were divided into groups of 6 and 10. In the first group, 2 m thick sections including the vein of the vestibular aqueduct, utricle, and crista ampullaris of the lateral ampulla were examined by light microscopy and computer-generated three-dimensional imaging. In the second group, ultrathin sections including venules and VDCs were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results: A microvascular network was observed in close relation to the VDCs in the utricle and the crista ampullaris of the lateral semicircular canal in the vestibular apparatus. One major vein emanated from these networks, which emptied into the vein of the vestibular aqueduct. Veins draining the saccule and the common crus of the superior and posterior semicircular canals were likewise observed to merge with the vein of the vestibular aqueduct.

Keywords: Meniere's disease; Three-dimensional imaging; inner ear; microvascular network; rat; transmission electron microscopy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Panum Institute

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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