Published online Aug 28, 2013. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v3.i3.71
Revised: August 9, 2013
Accepted: August 20, 2013
Published online: August 28, 2013
Core tip: Animal models provide an invaluable insight into physiological and anatomical responses to middle ear surgical interventions. The choice of which animal model to use depends on the question which needs to be answered and on the available resources. Acute terminal experiments permit greater access and exposure of the middle ear structures, but the behavioural and long-term outcomes are not available. Chronic experiments conversely have more limited options for exposure, but allow long-term observation of tissue recovery and tolerance of the surgery. Both options are considered in this review.