Mesotympanum

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

The mesotympanum (rare plural: mesotympana) forms the main compartment of the tympanic cavity and contains most of the important structures of the middle ear, including most of the ossicular chain

Gross anatomy

Location

The mesotympanum is found in the middle ear.

Boundaries
Contents
Bones

The middle ear ossicles consist of three small bones, the malleusincus and stapes, which form a mobile chain across the mesotympanum from the tympanic membrane to the oval window. Only the head of the malleus and the body and short process of the incus lie outside of the mesotympanum, in the epitympanum.

Muscles

There are two muscles, one for the malleus and one for the stapes, which act to damp down over-vibration from low-pitched sound waves. These are, respectively:

Nerves

The chorda tympani leaves the facial nerve in the facial canal and enters the tympanic cavity through the posterior wall, lateral to the pyramid, lying just underneath the mucous membrane. It runs over the pars flaccida of the tympanic membrane, and the neck of the malleus. It leaves at the anterior margin of the tympanic notch.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 57542
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Mesotympana

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: middle ear anatomy: annotated CT
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