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Introduction : Assessing cochlear implantation's impact on cell loss and preventing post-implant cochlear damage are key areas of focus for hearing preservation research. The preservation of auditory neuronal and sensory neural hearing cells has a positive impact on auditory perception after implantation. This study aimed to provide details on a semi-automated spiral ganglion neuronal cell counting method, developed using whole implanted gerbil cochlea acquisitions with light sheet microscopy. Methods : Mongolian gerbils underwent right cochlear implantation with an electrode array whose silicone was loaded with dexamethasone or not and were euthanized 10 weeks after implantation. The cochleae were prepared according to a 29-day protocol, with the electrode array in place. Light sheet microscopy was used for acquisition, and Imaris software was employed for three-dimensional analysis of the cochleas and semi-automatic quantification of spiral ganglion cells. The imaJ software was used for manual quantification of these cells. Results : Six cochleae were acquired by light-sheet microscopy, allowing good identification of cells. There was no significant difference between the mean number of spiral ganglion cell obtained by manual and semi-automatic counting (p = 0,25). Conclusion : Light sheet microscopy provided complete visualization of the spiral ganglion and cell identification. The semi-automated counting method developed using Imaris software tools proved reliable and efficient and could be applied to a larger sample to assess post-cochlear implant cell damage and the efficacy of protective drugs delivered to the inner ear.

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