spiral organmedical dictionary

A prominent ridge of highly specialised epithelium in the floor of the cochlear duct overlying the basilar membrane of cochlea, containing one inner row and three outer rows of hair cells, or cells of Corti (the auditory receptor cells innervated by the cochlear nerve) supported by various columnar cells: the pillars of Corti, cells of Hensen, and cells of Claudius; the spiral organ is partly overhung by an awning-like shelf, the tectorial membrane, the free marginal zone of which is covered by a gelatinous substance in which the stereocilia of the outer hair cells are embedded.

Synonyms: organum spirale, acoustic papilla, Corti's organ.

(05 Mar 2000)