Quantitative imaging of cochlear soft tissues in wild-type and hearing-impaired transgenic mice by spectral domain optical coherence tomography
Human hearing loss often occurs as a result of damage or malformations to the functional soft tissues within the cochlea, but these changes are not appreciable with current medical imaging modalities. We sought to determine whether optical coherence tomography (OCT) could assess the soft tissue structures relevant to hearing using mouse models. We imaged excised cochleae with an altered tectorial membrane and during normal development. The soft tissue structures and expected anatomical variations were visible using OCT, and quantitative measurements confirmed the ability to detect critical changes relevant to hearing.