Vestibular effects of chronic perilymph fistula in the cat

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1990 Jun;102(6):701-8. doi: 10.1177/019459989010200613.


Chronic, unilateral perilymph fistulae were created in cats by removal of the round window membrane and placement of a tympanostomy tube into the round window. Rotary chair, fistula, caloric, and vestibulospinal tests were performed before and after fistulization, and periodically for 2 weeks. At 2 weeks, patency of the fistula was documented by fluorescein injection into the spinal fluid and visualization of leakage into the middle ear bulla via the fistula. All the cats had a patent fistula at 2 weeks, but one of the three cats had a greater perilymph leak than the others. The cat with the more active leak had a spontaneous nystagmus toward the side of the fistula on the first postoperative day; this changed to nystagmus toward the opposite side by the third postoperative day. The other cats had a spontaneous nystagmus toward the opposite side from the first postoperative day. Most abnormal test results returned to normal in the first week after fistulization. Histologic study of the temporal bones revealed that the cat with the greater leak had a wider cochlear aqueduct than the other cats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cochlea*
  • Ear, Middle*
  • Fistula / complications*
  • Fistula / pathology
  • Fistula / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology*
  • Perilymph
  • Posture / physiology
  • Round Window, Ear*
  • Temporal Bone / pathology
  • Vestibular Function Tests
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / pathology*