The round window as access route for agents injurious to the inner ear

Am J Otolaryngol. Nov-Dec 1988;9(6):327-35. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0709(88)80041-3.


The ototoxicity of 50% propylene glycol, 70% isopropyl alcohol, 2% acetic acid, Otic Domeboro solution (Miles Pharmaceuticals, West Haven, CT), 1% Gentian violet (Purepac Pharmaceutical, Elizabeth, NJ), Vosol Otic solution (Wallace Laboratories, Cranbury, NJ), Genoptic Ophthalmic solution (Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Irvine, CA), Cortisporin Otic suspension (Burroughs Wellcome, Greenville, NC), Coly-Mycin S Otic (Parke-Davis, Rochester, MI), and Pyocidin Otic (Berlex Laboratories, Cedar Knolls, NJ) was studied in rats according to their effect on the latencies of the second peak of the auditory brainstem responses (ABR) at different sound pressure levels. The substances were instilled into the round window (RW) niches of rats, and the ABR to 1-kHz and 6-kHz tonebursts were obtained, 30 minutes, two hours, and 1 week after exposure. For all substances except isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol, which evidently quickly penetrated the RW, approximately two hours of exposure were required before inner ear function was affected. The ototoxic effect of the antibiotic drugs was to some degree reversed with time, whereas the recorded potentials for antiseptics such as 1% Gentian violet, 2% acetic acid, and Otic Domeboro indicate that they caused severe damage to inner ear function. Some increases in latencies were also noted after exposure to propylene glycol and isopropyl alcohol, except when the latter was quickly withdrawn from the RW niche.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / toxicity
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / toxicity
  • Audiometry, Evoked Response
  • Cochlea / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Labyrinth Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Round Window, Ear / metabolism*
  • Solvents / administration & dosage
  • Solvents / pharmacokinetics
  • Solvents / toxicity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Solvents