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


Padurariu, Simona; Röösli, Christof; Røge, Rasmus; Stensballe, Allan; Vyberg, Mogens; Huber, Alex; Gaihede, Michael (2019). On the functional compartmentalization of the normal middle ear. Morpho-histological modelling parameters of its mucosa. Hearing Research, 378:176-184.

Abstract

Background 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.
Methods The study included sets of three histological H&E-slides from 15 archived healthy temporal bones. We performed a comparison of the mucosa morphology among the following regions: (1) anterior TC; (2) inferior TC; (3) posterior TC; (4) superior TC; (5) MACS antrum; (6) superior MACS; (7) central MACS; (8) inferior MACS.
Results Regions (1)–(3), situated below the inter-attico-tympanic diaphragm, had the largest proportion of high respiratory epithelium, cilia and loose lamina propria within the mucosa, as well as the thickest mucosa and the largest diffusion distance. Regions (6)–(8), situated above the diaphragm, had the thinnest mucosa, the shortest distance to the blood vessels, together with the largest proportion of flat epithelium and very few cilia. Regions (4)–(5), still supradiaphragmatic, had intermediary values for these parameters, but generally closer to regions (6)–(8). The blood vessel density and the proportion of active mucosa were not significantly different among the regions.
Conclusion Mucosa of regions (1), (2) and (3) represented a predominantly clearance-specific morphology, whereas in regions (4)–(8) it seemed adapted to gas exchange. However, the lack of statistically significant differences in blood vessel density and proportion of active mucosa indicated that all regions could be involved in gas exchange with the highest adaptation in the superior MACS. This pattern divides the middle ear functionally along the inter-attico-tympanic diaphragm rather than the anatomical division into TC and MACS.

Abstract

Background 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.
Methods The study included sets of three histological H&E-slides from 15 archived healthy temporal bones. We performed a comparison of the mucosa morphology among the following regions: (1) anterior TC; (2) inferior TC; (3) posterior TC; (4) superior TC; (5) MACS antrum; (6) superior MACS; (7) central MACS; (8) inferior MACS.
Results Regions (1)–(3), situated below the inter-attico-tympanic diaphragm, had the largest proportion of high respiratory epithelium, cilia and loose lamina propria within the mucosa, as well as the thickest mucosa and the largest diffusion distance. Regions (6)–(8), situated above the diaphragm, had the thinnest mucosa, the shortest distance to the blood vessels, together with the largest proportion of flat epithelium and very few cilia. Regions (4)–(5), still supradiaphragmatic, had intermediary values for these parameters, but generally closer to regions (6)–(8). The blood vessel density and the proportion of active mucosa were not significantly different among the regions.
Conclusion Mucosa of regions (1), (2) and (3) represented a predominantly clearance-specific morphology, whereas in regions (4)–(8) it seemed adapted to gas exchange. However, the lack of statistically significant differences in blood vessel density and proportion of active mucosa indicated that all regions could be involved in gas exchange with the highest adaptation in the superior MACS. This pattern divides the middle ear functionally along the inter-attico-tympanic diaphragm rather than the anatomical division into TC and MACS.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sensory Systems
Language:English
Date:1 July 2019
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 14:55
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-5955
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2019.01.023
PubMed ID:30826128

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