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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
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Otorinolaringologia 2013 June;63(2):85-97

Copyright © 2013 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A geometric appraisal of the labyrinthine membranes in mammals

Pender D. J.

Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA


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Aim: The aim of this paper was to adduce the geometry of the labyrinthine membranes in mammals thorough a meta-analysis carried on at the Columbia University Medical Center (New York, USA).
Methods: Imagery from multiple sources is examined for anatomic detail in order to appraise the geometry of the various chambers and conduits in the membranous labyrinths of mammals. This appraisal follows a chronological order based on evolutionary age, beginning with the semicircular canal in the pars superior and ending with the cochlea duct in the pars inferior. Labyrinthine segments that are clearly delineated in the source materials are used to suggest chamber geometry.
Results: The chambers and conduits of the membranous labyrinth are found to exhibit the following geometries: the semicircular canals have a torus shape, the ampullae those of prolate spheroids, the utricle and crus commune are cylindrical, the saccule exhibits an oblate spheroid shape, the ductus reuniens a cylindrical one, the component membranes of the cochlea duct are spiral ribbons, while the junctional areas are generally of an hyperboloid configuration.
Conclusion: This geometric approach provides a new perspective on membranous labyrinth architecture and may provide a new platform to study the role of the labyrinthine membrane configuration in health and disease.

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