Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1037
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
forward, forming in its course a slight curve the convexity of which is upward and backward. Its inner end is smaller than the outer, and sloped, the anterior wall projecting beyond the posterior for about 4 mm.; it is marked, except at its upper part, by a narrow groove, the tympanic sulcus, in which the circumference of the tympanic membrane is attached. Its outer end is dilated and rough in the greater part of its circumference, for the attachment of the cartilage of the auricula. The front and lower parts of the osseous portion are formed by a curved plate of bone, the tympanic part of the temporal, which, in the fetus, exists as a separate ring (annulus tympanicus,) incomplete at its upper part (page 146).

FIG. 908– Horizontal section through left ear; upper half of section. (See enlarged image)

  The skin lining the meatus is very thin; adheres closely to the cartilaginous and osseous portions of the tube, and covers the outer surface of the tympanic membrane. After maceration, the thin pouch of epidermis, when withdrawn, preserves the form of the meatus. In the thick subcutaneous tissue of the cartilaginous part of the meatus are numerous ceruminous glands, which secrete the ear-wax; their structure resembles that of the sudoriferous glands.

Relations of the Meatus.—In front of the osseous part is the condyle of the mandible, which however, is frequently separated from the cartilaginous part by a portion of the parotid gland. The movements of the jaw influence to some extent the lumen of this latter portion. Behind the osseous part are the mastoid air cells, separated from the meatus by a thin layer of bone.
  The arteries supplying the meatus are branches from the posterior auricular, internal maxillary, and temporal.
  The nerves are chiefly derived from the auriculotemporal branch of the mandibular nerve and the auricular branch of the vagus.
1d. 2. The Middle Ear or Tympanic Cavity
(Cavum Tympani; Drum; Tympanum)

The middle ear or tympanic cavity is an irregular, laterally compressed space within the temporal bone. It is filled with air, which is conveyed to it from the nasal part of the pharynx through the auditory tube. It contains a chain of movable bones, which connect its lateral to its medial wall, and serve to convey the vibrations communicated to the tympanic membrane across the cavity to the internal ear.


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