J W LEE, P SALE, N P PATEL
Kolling Deafness Research Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney Medical School, Australia
Background: The postulated sites of perilymph fistulae involve otic capsule deficiencies, in particular, at the fissula ante fenestram. Histological studies have revealed this to be a channel extending from the middle ear, and becoming continuous with the inner ear medial to the anterior limit of the oval window. The relationship between a patent fissula and symptoms of perilymph fistula is contentious.
Objective: The understanding of the anatomy of the fissula ante fenestram is incomplete. Histopathology is inherently
destructive to the delicate ultrastructure of the middle and inner ear. Conversely, X-ray microtomography allows non- destructive examination of the otic capsule. In this study, we used X-ray microtomography to characterise the fissula ante fenestram.
Materials and methods: We imaged cadaveric temporal bones with X-ray microtomography. We used the Avizo Fire (Visualization Science Group, Merignac Cedex, France) software to perform post-processing and image analysis.
Results: Three-dimensional modelling of the fissula ante fenestram allowed stratification into four forms: rudimentary pit; partial fissula; complete occluded fissula; and complete patent fissula.
Conclusion: X-ray microtomography showed that the fissula ante fenestram is present in various forms from rudimentary pit to complete deficiency of the otic capsule. This understanding may have implications for otologic surgery and clinical diagnosis of perilymph fistula.
Key words: Perilymph; Hearing Loss; Hearing Disorders; Tinnitus; X-Ray Microtomography; Petrous Bone