Outer spiral fibers (OSFs) were retrogradely labeled with injections of horseradish peroxidase. After the peripheral arborization patterns were reconstructed at the light microscopic level (Simmons and Liberman, '88), restricted regions of selected fibers were analyzed via electron-microscopic reconstruction of serial sections. The ultrastructural data in the present study suggested that the contact between the outer hair cell (OHC) and the terminal swellings of OSFs corresponds to the afferent synapse described in numerous other ultrastructural studies. The en passant swellings that contacted OHCs also appeared to be points of synaptic contact. However, en passant synapses were not always associated with a swelling of the OSF at the point of contact: thus, the light-microscopic reconstructions probably underestimate the numbers of synapses. OSF branches terminating well below the OHCs were seen to end most commonly in intimate contact with the Deiters' cells. Membrane specialization was occasionally seen at this point of contact; however, the specialization was sufficiently undifferentiated to preclude identification.