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Laboratory 30. Temporal Bone and Ear
Step 4. The Middle Ear

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The middle ear serves to transmit sound to the inner ear.

The middle ear cavity is continuous with the nasopharynx via the auditory tube, and also continuous with the mastoid air cells [cross-section] by the mastoid antrum (Figure 30.2). These continuities may lead to the spread of an upper respiratory tract infection to the middle ear cavity (otitis media) and to the mastoid air cells (mastoiditis).
 

Links and References:
Grant's: 7.137, 7.138, 7.139, 7.140, 7.144, 7.145
Netter: 87, 88, 89
Rohen/Yokochi: 118, 122, 124