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Left Lateral View of the Mastoid and Tympanic Parts of the Temporal Bone

Surgical Correlation


Left lateral view of the mastoid and tympanic parts of the temporal bone. Bones of this area have been cleaned of their periosteum to reveal bony components and landmarks. The mastoid process is a large blunt-ended structure that is filled by membrane-lined mastoid air cells. The superior region of the mastoid process is an open area called the mastoid antrum. It communicates anteriorly with the epitympanic recess of the middle ear cavity. Anterior to the mastoid is the external auditory meatus that is part of the tympanic part of the temporal bone. This meatus is both bony (medially) and cartilaginous (laterally) and is bounded medially by the tympanic membrane. Just below the posterior root of the zygomatic process and along the upper posterior margin of the external auditory meatus is the suprameatal spine or spine of Henle. This is a surgical landmark for structures within the temporal bone. The internal jugular vein can be seen descending anteromedial to the mastoid tip. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)