The cavity of the tympanum, or middle ear, in health is filled with ever-renewed air by the Eustachian tube, and thus the waves of sound reach the labyrinthine nerve of the ear. It is deeply and securely situated in the temporal bone. It measures lines from the membrana tympani inward, its breadth and height being about one-half inch, and its shape is the form of a cube. The cavity of the tympanum is apparently lined with a continuation of the mucous membrane of the Eustachian tube, and yet the epithelium is distinct—that of the Eustachian tube is ciliated, whilst in the middle ear it is tessellated, or in squares. This epithelial and subepithelial lining takes the place of a periosteum by transmitting the blood-vessels which supply the bones. This latter fact is important to notice, as any serious affection of this membrane will ultimately react upon the nutrition of
TURNBULL L. TREATMENT OF ACUTE AND CHRONIC PURULENT INFLAMMATION OF THE MIDDLE EAR (OTORRHÆA). Read before the Philadelphia County Medical Society, April 25, 1888. JAMA. 1888;X(23):714–716. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400490014001b
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