Neurotology and Inner Ear Biology


​Dr. med. Andreas Eckhard, Assistenzarzt


Dr. med. David Bächinger, Assistenzarzt
Dr. med. Christof Buhl, Assistenzarzt
Dr. med. Jonas Fellmann, Assistenzarzt
Dr. med. Nhi Luu, Assistenzärztin
Dr. med. Arianne Monge Naldi, Oberärztin (Kinderspital Zürich)
Cand. Med. Catrin Brühlmann
Cand. Med. Tim Honegger
Cand. med. Hannes Egli


​Die Forschung des Schwindelzentrums beschäftigt sich mit der Verbesserung der vestibulären Diagnostik und Therapie sowie der Erforschung der physiologischen Prozesse des Gleichgewichtssystems.

Mehrere Studien beschäftigen sich mit dem Morbus Menière. Sie haben zum Ziel, die bislang unbekannten Ursachen der Erkrankung besser zu verstehen und dadurch bessere Methoden zur Diagnose der Erkrankung zu etablieren. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ist die Optimierung der Behandlung bei Patienten mit einem Vestibularisschwannom.

  • Subgroups of Meniere’s Patients with Different Pathomorphological and Clinical Traits as Identified by Temporal Bone MR-Imaging
    Among patients with Meniere’s disease (MD) a large variability exists with regard to the manifestation of clinical symptoms. This “phenotypic heterogeneity” is a main reason for the lack of disease-specific diagnostic criteria and it renders MD a diagnostic challenge. The existence of multiple etiopathologies and distinct clinical phenotypes in MD was proposed but, to date, has not been demonstrated. Here, we aimed to establish new clinical imaging-based criteria to distinguish distinct MD patient subgroups based on two MD-specific pathologies – degeneration and hypoplasticity – of the endolymphatic sac (ES).

  • The extraosseous part of the murine endolymphatic sac is the site of a transepithelial calcium monitoring and transport system
    Calcium concentrations in the endolymph [Ca2+]e are actively maintained at an extremely low level (0.02 mM) in order to enable the proper mechanoelectrical transduction by auditory and vestibular hair cells. Previous studies suggested that the endolymphatic sac (ES) contributes critically to the maintenance of [Ca2+]e by so far unknown mechanisms. Here, we aimed to
    reveal the molecular determinants of an endolymphatic calcium (Ca2+) transport system in the murine ES epithelium. Materials and methods: Ca2+-transport proteins were immunolabelled on paraffin-embedded sections of mouse (male C57BL/6, 6 – 8 weeks) ES tissue. For each antigen, DAB-positive cell numbers were calculated along the entire length of the ES epithelium (proximal and distal portions). Immunofluorescence double-labellings were performed to analyze cell type-specific patterns of Ca2+-transport proteins within the ES epithelium.

  • Development of a new two-phase mouse model for Meniere’s disease
    The overall goal of the project is to develop the first animal model for Meniere’s disease (MD), which recapitulates not only the histopathological hallmark of this disease – i.e. endolymphatic hydrops (EH) –, but also its characteristic clinical symptoms – i.e. episodic vertigo and fluctuating hearing loss. Numerous previous studies did not succeed to implement the clinical features of this “human-specific” disease in an animal model using different animal species, such as guinea pig, rabbit, rat, and cat. Therefore, an animal model that recapitulates the pathophysiological (clinical) features of MD would constitute an invaluable, novel tool for research studies on the etiology of this disease, as well as for drug-screening studies that aim to discover new, effective treatment strategies for MD.
  • ​Institute for Veterinary Pathology, UZH (Prof. A. Kipar)
  • Institute of Anatomy, UZH (Prof. J. Loffing)
  • Institute for Physiology, UZH (PD Dr. I. Rubio-Aliaga)
  • Institute of Veterinary Physiology, UZH (Prof. J. Vogel)
  • Department of Endocrinology, USZ (Prof. Ch. Schmid-Baumann)
  • Vestibulo-Oculomotor Lab Zürich, USZ (Prof. D. Straumann)
  • Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, UZH
  • Otopathology Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA (Prof. J. B. Nadol jr., Prof. S. D. Rauch)
  • Otology & Neurotology Group at the Pfizer-Universidad de Granada-Junta de Andalucia Centre for Genomics and Oncology Research, Spain (Prof. J. A. Lopez-Escamez)

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