Tympanometry is a technique used to assess the mobility and condition of the tympanic membrane and middle ear during variation of air pressure in the ear canal. The technique was applied to a series of 21 fresh human temporal bones, 11 of which were judged to be normal. The normal tympanometric patterns were found to be similar to those obtained in a series of 100 normal living ears in terms of notch depth, width, position of the notch relative to atmospheric pressure, and difference in probe tone reflection between maximum positive and negative pressures applied. The minimal observed differences were considered to be the result of changes in tissue resiliency following death. Experimental manipulations on normal and abnormal bones revealed tympanograms similar to those observed for patients with clinically diagnosed pathological abnormalities. This finding permits the interpretation of particular tympanometric shapes in living ears with greater assurance.
Peterson JL, Lidén G. Tympanometry in Human Temporal Bones. Arch Otolaryngol. 1970;92(3):258–266. doi:10.1001/archotol.1970.04310030048010
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