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Spontaneous reversibility of damage to outer hair cells after sodium salicylate induced ototoxicity

  • I de Almeida-Silva (a1), J A A de Oliveira (a2), M Rossato (a2), F Fiacadori Salata (a2) and M A Hyppolito (a2)...



High sodium salicylate doses can cause reversible hearing loss and tinnitus, possibly due to reduced outer hair cell electromotility. Sodium salicylate is known to alter outer hair cell structure and function. This study determined the reversibility and cochlear recovery time after administration of an ototoxic sodium salicylate dose to guinea pigs with normal cochlear function.

Study design:

Prospective experimental investigation.


All animals received a single 500 mg sodium salicylate dose, but with different durations of action. Function was evaluated before drug administration and immediately before sacrifice. Cochleae were processed and viewed using scanning electron microscopy.


Changes in outer hair cell function were observed to be present 2 hours after drug administration, with recovery of normal anatomy beginning after 24 hours. Subsequently, derangement and distortion of cilia reduced, with effects predominantly in row three. At 168 hours, cilia were near-normal but with mild distortions which interfered with normal cochlear physiology.


Ciliary changes persisted for up to 168 hours after ototoxic sodium salicylate administration.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Prof Dr Miguel Angelo Hyppolito, Department of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil Av Bandeirantes, 3900 12° Andar-Monte Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil Fax: 55 (16)3602 2860 E-mail:


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