Physiopathology of the cochlear microcirculation

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Normal blood supply to the cochlea is critically important for establishing the endocochlear potential and sustaining production of endolymph. Abnormal cochlear microcirculation has long been considered an etiologic factor in noise-induced hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), sudden hearing loss or vestibular function, and Meniere’s disease. Knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of cochlear microcirculation is of fundamental clinical importance. A better understanding of cochlear blood flow (CoBF) will enable more effective management of hearing disorders resulting from aberrant blood flow. This review focuses on recent discoveries and findings related to the physiopathology of the cochlear microvasculature.

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