Many diseases trigger morphological changes in affected tissue. Today, classical histology is still the "gold standard" used to study and describe those changes. Classical histology, however, is time consuming and requires chemical tissue manipulations that can result in significant tissue distortions. It is sometimes difficult to separate tissue-processing artifacts from changes caused by the disease process. We show that synchrotron X-ray phase-contrast micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) can be used to examine non-embedded, hydrated tissue at a resolution comparable to that obtained with classical histology. The data analysis from stacks of reconstructed micro-CT images is more flexible and faster than when using the classical, physically embedded sections that are by necessity fixed in a particular orientation. We show that in a three-dimensional (3D) structure with meticulous structural details such as the cochlea and the kidney, micro-CT is more flexible, faster and more convenient for morphological studies and disease diagnoses.