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February 1968

Temporal Bone Removal at Autopsy: Preparation and Uses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(2):129-137. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060131007

HUMAN TEMPORAL bones removed at autopsy can be used for either pathological study or for anatomical dissection, both of which are needed for otolaryngology training programs. They are also useful for improving our knowledge of the pathologic basis for otological disease.

Freshly removed temporal bones can be placed in Teflon bags, with all the air expelled, and frozen. Such temporal bones provide a ready source of cadaver specimens for teaching otologic surgery. These specimens contain the external auditory canal, middle ear, mastoid, and petrous pyramid which are the important structures for surgical dissection. The training of an otolaryngologist includes the dissection of 10 to 20 temporal bones while utilizing modern surgical equipment and sufficient magnification before the otolaryngologist can engage in surgery on live human beings.

It is not practical to perform surgical exercises on the temporal bone of the intact body in the morgue. Appropriate surgical instruments and operating

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