On the functional compartmentalization of the normal middle ear. Morpho-histological modelling parameters of its mucosa.


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Audiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark. Electronic address: [Email]


Middle ear physiology includes both sound pressure transmission and homeostasis of its static air pressure. Pressure gradients are continuously created by gas exchange over the middle ear mucosa as well as by ambient pressure variations. Gas exchange models require actual values for regional mucosa thickness, blood vessel density, and diffusion distance. Such quantitative data have been scarce and limited to few histological samples from the tympanic cavity (TC) and the antrum. However, a detailed regional description of the morphological differences of the TC and mastoid air cell system (MACS) mucosa has not been available. The aim of the present study was to provide such parameters.

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