Thursday, August 17, 2017

Role of Mastoid cells

Role of Mastoid air cells.

We all know that the mastoid air cells and the antrum function to aerate the middle ear and help in pressure regulation of the middle ear. But that's the easy part. The actual truth behind the role of mastoid is simple, yet easily misunderstood.
 Here are some of the important functions of the mastoid air system.

1) The mastoid cell system, in combination with the blood flow in adjacent blood vessels, helps to protect the vestibular part of the inner ear from unnecessary external temperature changes.

2) The air system serves as a buffer, as a middle ear pressure regulator to effectively control the intratympanic pressure.
 Since the middle ear is a fixed space, and has a fixed volume, the efficiency of transducer mechanism of middle ear is severely impaired if it were not connected to the mastoid system behind, as the range of pressure changes across the round and oval windows would be too high, sometimes harming the inner ear. In short, the mastoid system has the air reserve to allow for the vast pressure changes from outside to be efficiently converted to physiological pressures to be transmitted to the inner ear.

3) The mastoid system also acts a gas reserve for the ear, an aspect which is highly significant in cases of any pathology of the middle ear. Many studies have found that the mastoid air cell system volume is indirectly related to the predisposition of the middle ear to certain pathological conditions including cholesteatoma and otitis media. One hypothesis to explain this relationship is that the air system functions as a middle ear gas reserve such that middle ears with larger mastoid volumes require less frequent Eustachian tube openings to maintain the pressure within physiological limits. This is essential in ears with constitutionally moderate or even poor Eustachian tube function are protected from the development of pathologies in the ear.


Mithil Jagannath.
Medicowesome 2017.

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