The anatomy of the adult human cochlear aqueduct and its surrounding structures, and their normal variations at tomography, microdissection and plastic molding are described. The mean length of the aqueduct is 12.9 mm and the mean width of its funnel-shaped external aperture 4.2 mm. The mean width of the narrowest portion is 0.14 mm. No difference in aqueductal width was found between the youngest and oldest age groups. Complete bony obstruction was revealed at microdissection in 3 out of 82 specimens. In the remaining 79 the entire aqueduct was patent. The aqueduct usually runs parallel to the internal auditory canal when seen from above, and the AP projection is therefore most suitable for tomography. At tomography the entire aqueduct was visualized in 60% of the specimens. The isthmic portion was not visible in 40%. Major reasons for nonvisualization of the entire aqueduct are: 1) a luminal width less than 0.1 mm, 2) a high jugular fossa, 3) a posteriorly directed aqueductal convexity (10%), and 4) bony obliteration (4)%). Accessory canals close to and often wider than the aqueduct may complicate tomographic evaluation of the aqueductal patency. Nonvisualization of the aqueduct at tomography does not necessarily indicate non...Continue Reading
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CSF & Lymphatic System
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