THERE IS abundant information available concerning the effects of ionizing radiation upon the human and experimental animal. However, data concerning specific effects of radiation upon the ear is scanty and frequently contradictory. One author states that a dosage of 1,000 to 2,000 rads whole body radiation in rats destroys the organ of Corti with marked compression of the endolymphatic space.1 Another investigator found essentially minimal effect on animals irradiated with up to 7,000 rads.2 Either of these and others may be correct for given circumstances. With few and conflicting reports, and because we wished to determine the effect of ionizing radiation on the various structures of the inner ear, a study was devised to investigate both the histological and physiological changes following radiation to the inner ear. It is the purpose of this communication to report the findings of this study.
Peripheral auditory function was evaluated by