The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Morphological Observations of the Bony Canal Structure of the Eustachian Tube in Elderly Human Cadavers With Cone-Beam Computed Tomography and Principal Component Analysis


Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo, The Nippon Dental University, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Department of Anatomy, Tokyo Medical University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Department of Anatomy, School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Nihon University, Matsudo, Chiba, Japan

J Int Adv Otol 2021; 17: 134-144
DOI: 10.5152/JIAO.2021.0058
Read: 285 Downloads: 49 Published: 14 April 2021

Objective: Anatomical information regarding the eustachian tube (ET) is limited; therefore, more detailed analytical data on ET structure is needed when planning surgical treatments involving the temporal bone.

Methods: We examined the bony structure of the middle ear and ET in 30 Japanese donor cadavers (71-97 years old at the time of death) both macroscopically and with cone-beam computed tomography. Each ET was reconstructed in 3 dimensions, and the structure and correlations of ET element measurements, identified via principal component analysis, were analyzed.

Results: Delineation between bony and cartilaginous zones appeared unclear, and the space between ET cartilage and the carotid canal was narrow. We observed stenosis of the ET bony canal in 43.3% of the specimens (n = 30). In 50% of the specimens, the position of the ET bony canal was depressed at the pharyngeal orifice of the auditory side of the tube, and the middle region was a roundish structure. The lateral and central regions of the bony canal were related to the ET bony canal structure.

Conclusion: The close proximity of the ET bony canal to the carotid canal is an important anatomical and morphological finding. Pre-surgical 3D modeling of the middle ear structure, or at a minimum, of the central region of the middle ear canal, may provide useful information for planning procedures that involve the ET.

Cite this article as: Asaumi R, Sato I, Kawai T, et al. Morphological observations of the bony canal structure of the eustachian tube in elderly human cadavers with cone-beam computed tomography and principal component analysis. J Int Adv Otol. 2021; 17(2): 134-44.

EISSN 2148-3817