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November 1978

Round Window Niche Melanocytes and Webby Tissue: Possible Collateral Route of Vascular and Perilymph Circulation

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Head and Neck Surgery (Otolaryngology) and the Department of Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1978;104(11):662-668. doi:10.1001/archotol.1978.00790110052013

• Two hundred thirteen human temporal bones were studied for characteristics of the round window niche. In 163 specimens melanocytes were found within the attachments of the round window membrane and in the niche, most prominently at the level of the cochlear aqueduct opening. Sixty-two specimens demonstrated discrete webby foci within the lining of the niche, 16 of which completely or partially covered the tympanic surface of the round window membrane, unassociated with fibrous tags or adhesions, and in some cases contained congested vascular channels and melanocytes. The webby foci were sometimes associated with melanocytes, while melanocytes were present without demonstrable webby foci.

These findings may represent a collateral route of vascular or perilymph-related drainage from the inner ear.

(Arch Otolaryngol 104:662-668, 1978)