The tympanic cavity may be divided into five parts: protympanum, mesotympanum, retrotympanum, hypotympanum, and epitympanum. The anterior margin of the protympanum is the aperture of the eustachian tube, and its posterior margin is the line projected from it onto the promontory of the anterior margin of the tympanic anulus. The protympanum includes a part of the osseous eustachian tube, the semicanal of the tensor tympani muscle, the supratubal recess, and the cochleariform process with the tensor tympani tendon. It covers the internal carotid artery, the cochlea, the geniculate ganglion, and the petrous portion of the facial nerve (Fig. 2–1). Although it is difficult to draw definite borderlines separating each of the parts of the tympanum, there is a clear borderline between the pro-/mesotympanum and the epitympanum, called the tympanic diaphragm.


Temporal Bone Eustachian Tube Malleal Head Tympanic Cavity Geniculate Ganglion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamotsu Morimitsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Miyazaki Medical CollegeMiyazakiJapan

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