The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Nucleolus vs Nucleus Count for Identifying Spiral Ganglion in Human Temporal Bone


University of Perugia, Permanent Temporal Bone Laboratory, Perugia, Italy


University La Sapienza, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Rome, Italy


Toronto General Hospital, Otolaryngology Department, Toronto, Canada


“Carlo Poma” Civil Hospital, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Mantova, Italy


Meyer Children’s Hospital, Otolaryngology unit, Florence, Italy


Santobono-Posillipon Hospital, Otology and Cochlear Implant Unit, Naples, Italy


University of Perugia, Otolaryngology Department, Perugia, Italy

J Int Adv Otol 2018; 14: 181-189
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2018.5517
Read: 2899 Downloads: 929 Published: 03 September 2019



OBJECTIVES: Spiral ganglion (SG) counting is used in experimental studies conducted on age-, noise-, and drug-induced sensorineural hearing loss, as well as in the assessment of cochlear implant performances. Different methods of counting have been reported, but no definite standardization of such procedure has been published. The aim of our study is to identify the best method to count human spiral ganglions (SGs).

: By identification of nuclei or nucleoli as described by Schucknect, seven researchers with different experience levels counted SGs in 123 human temporal bones (TBs). Data on time of post-mortem bone removal post-mortem, methods of specimen’s fixation, decalcification, and coloration were collected to test their possible influence on human tissue. Percentage, two-tailed t-test, Spearman’s test, and one-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.

: Nucleoli were identified in 61% of cases, whereas nuclei were recognized in 100% of cases (p<0.005). Nucleoli presence in all four segments in the same temporal bone (TB) was observed in 69 cases (92%), whereas nuclei were identified in all four segments in 103 cases (83.7%) (p<0.001). The junior investigators requested a double check by the seniors in 25 (20.3%) cases for identifying and counting nucleoli, whereas the senior researchers showed no doubts in their identification and count. The only parameter positively affecting nucleoli identification in tissue preparation was bone removal for <12 h with respect to longer post-mortem time (p<0.001).

: We suggest counting nuclei, rather than nucleoli, for spiral ganglion computation because of easier recognition of nuclei, especially in case of investigator’s limited experience.

Cite this article as
: Di Stadio A, Ralli M, Ishai R, D’Ascanio L, Trabalzini F, Volpe DA, et al. Nucleolus vs Nucleus Count for Identifying Spiral Ganglion in Human Temporal Bone. J Int Adv Otol 2018; 14(2): 181-9.

EISSN 2148-3817