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Article
July 1950

THE TYMPANIC PLEXUS: An Anatomic Study

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;52(1):15-18. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700030034003
Abstract

NEW THEORETIC considerations concerning the role of the tympanic plexus and chorda tympani nerve in deafness, tinnitus and vertigo have focused attention on these long-neglected nerve structures.1 It is important to gather intimate knowledge of the structure, relations, distribution and variations of the tympanic plexus in order to evaluate properly the effects of surgical interruption of the plexus.

The main trunk of the tympanic plexus is Jacobson's nerve, which arises from the glossopharyngeal, pierces the floor of the tympanum and extends upward on the promontory and anastomoses with the lesser superficial petrosal nerve. The sympathetic components arise from the carotid sympathetic plexus and anastomose with Jacobson's nerve anteriorly. Smaller branches of Jacobson's nerve go to the oval and round windows posteriorly. A large branch of Jacobson's nerve goes to the eustachian tube. This delicate group of ramifying nerves may function as a significant link in the mechanism of deafness, tinnitus

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