OBJECTIVE Increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor expression is the important biological response under shear stress, ischemia and hypoxia conditions. Mechanical vibration induced cochlea shear stress and trauma obviously upregulate VEGF and VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) expression in the cochlea. To evaluate the possibility of VEGF varying the transport in blood-labyrinth barrier and blood-perilymphatic barrier. METHODS Eleven guinea pigs, male and female, weighing from 300 g to 900 g were kept under general anaesthesia with xylazine (16 mg/kg) and ketamine (60 mg/kg) for both drug delivery and MRI measurement. VEGF (6 ears) and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS, 5 ears) were delivered to the inner ear via the round window membrane (soaked in gelfoam). The T1 contrast agent gadodiamide (Gd-DTPA-BMA) chelated bound paramagnetic gadolinium was used as the inner ear barrier transportation tracer. A Bruker Biospec Avance 47/40 experimental MRI system with a magnetic field strength of 4. 7 Tesla and a 40 cm bore was used for the 2-dimensional cochlea MRI evaluation. The Paravision software was used for image intensity measurement and the Adobe Photoshop 6.0 software was used for image presentation. RESULTS VEGF induced significant Gd uptake in the scala tympani and scala vestibuli, but had little effect on the uptake of Gd in the scala media. CONCLUSIONS VEGF significantly increased the transportation of blood-perilymphatic barrier and adapted the inner ear for compensation and repair.