Suitable Alternative for Human Cadaver Temporal Bone Dissection: Comparative Micro Ear Anatomy of Cattle, Pig and Sheep with Human

  • M. Sudhakara RaoEmail author
  • K. Chandrasekhara Rao
  • Ch. Raja Lakshmi
  • T. Satish Chandra
  • P. S. N. Murthy
Original Article


The study was undertaken to compare the micro ear anatomy of three commonly available animal models which are expected to have similar anatomy to human and to find out suitable model among them as an alternative for human cadaver temporal bone dissection. This is an observational study of comparison of micro ear anatomy of the three animal models with human. Decapitated heads of cattle, pig and sheep were collected from slaughter houses, soft tissues along with brain were removed and preserved in commercially available formalin preservative. CT scan was taken for the three specimens and 3D reconstructions were done. Each specimen was subjected to micro dissection and the anatomical features were studied and compared with human. Among the three animal models sheep is found to be an ideal model for a beginner because of ease of exposure of bone, very thin cortical bone, and no cellularity, good exposure of all the middle ear structures and similar interrelations of middle ear structures with human. Pig may not be an ideal model because of abundant fatty soft tissues, thick periosteum very narrow space occupied by the middle ear, difficulty in accessing cellularity small fragile ossicular chain and overhanging facial nerve.


Temporal bone Dissection Cattle Pig Sheep Human Alternative Cadaver 



External auditory canal


Temporo mandibular joint


Incudostapedial joint


Tympanic membrane


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

As this study doesn’t involve humans or live animals it doesn’t attract either human or animal ethics committee approvals.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research FoundationChinna avutapalli, GannavaramIndia
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyDr. Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research FoundationChinna avutapalli, GannavaramIndia
  3. 3.Department of Oral Medicine and RadiologyDr. Sudha Nageswararao Institute of Dental SciencesChinna avutapalli, GannavaramIndia
  4. 4.Department of ENTDr. Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences & Research FoundationChinna avutapalli, GannavaramIndia

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