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Keywords:

  • giant;
  • cilia;
  • organ;
  • of;
  • Corti

Fusion of cilia, the growth of clumps of fused cilia and giant cilium formation have been studied in the normal human organ of Corti using the scanning electron microscope. These unusual forms are found mainly in the apical portions of the cochlea and appear to precede the loss of normal apical cilia which increases and extends in a basal direction with age. These changes may be due to low frequency noise damage or be a phenomenom of ageing. The mechanism of their formation is discussed in the light of recent experimental work on cell fusion.