The success of the mastoid operation, both simple and radical, is so dependent on exposing the antrum that a definite knowledge of its location is of paramount importance. Although the surgical landmarks of the mastoid antrum were pointed out by Macewen, the anatomic features are well marked on many neolithic skulls and in certain apes. Ballance quoted the Italian school of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, particularly the names of Valsalva, Morgagni and Scarpa, as having added notably to the knowledge of the anatomy and diseases of the ear. In part he stated:
Valsalva was certainly acquainted with the mastoid antrum and cells, for he says: "The mastoid sinus forms a sort of cave (antrum) communicating with the smaller sinuses of the mammillary process, and serves as a kind of annexa completing the tympanic cavity, with the upper part of which it communicates by a fairly large opening,
TREMBLE GE. THE CLINICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE MASTOID ANTRUM. Arch Otolaryngol. 1932;15(4):574–582. doi:10.1001/archotol.1932.03570030593008
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