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Joseph B. Nadol, Jr., M.D.
Walter Augustus LeCompte Professor and Chairman of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Nadol's current research focus is the histopathology of the human temporal bone from patients who in life had undergone cochlear implantation. Anatomic correlates of word recognition and evaluation of damage done to the cochlea and spiral ganglion during implantation and the biologic response including new bone formation and cellular infiltrates are studied. To date 49 specimens with a detailed clinical history of deafness and implantation results have been collected. The principal methods used include semi-serial two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstruction of the inner ear by computer-assisted methods.

Selected Publications

1. Nadol JB Jr, Eddington DK. Histologic evaluation of the tissue seal and biologic response around cochlear implant electrodes in the human. Otol Neurotol 2004;25:257-62.

2. Khan AM, Handzel O, Burgess BJ, Damian D, Eddington DK, Nadol JB Jr. Is word recognition correlated with the number of surviving spiral ganglion cells and electrode insertion depth in human subjects with cochlear implants? Laryngoscope 2005;115:672-677.

3. Handzel O, Burgess BJ, Nadol JB Jr. Histopathology of the peripheral vestibular system following cochlear implantation in the human. Otol Neurotol 2006;27:57-64.

4. Somdas MA, Li PMMC, Whiten D, Eddington DK, Nadol JB Jr. Quantitative evaluation of new bone and fibrous tissue in the cochlea following cochlear implantation in the human. Audiol Neurotol 2007;12(5):277-84. Epub 2007 May23.

5. Li PMMC, Wang H, Northrop C, Merchant SN, Nadol JB Jr. Anatomy of the round window and hook region of the cochlea with implications for cochlear implantation and other endocochlear surgical procedures. Otol Neurotol, 2007;116(10):731-8.

Research Images


Section through the basal turn of the cochlea of a 91-year-old patient who underwent a cochlear implant 11 years prior to death. The cochlear implant (CI) is seen passing through the cochleostomy and into the basal turn. There is a significant biologic response to the presence of the implant including deposition of fibrous tissue and new bone formation.