Ear Histology

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Ear Development | Main Anatomy Index | UrogenitalDevelopment

Last updated 30 March 2006

This page was contributed by David Boshell

Ear Histology

The inner ear

  1. The bony (osseous) labyrinth, in the petrous portion of the temporal bone
  2. The membranous labyrinth, within the bony labyrinth


Spaces of the inner ear

  1. The endolymphatic spaces, within the membranous labyrinth
  2. The perilymphatic space, in which the membranous labyrinth is suspended
  3. The cortilymphatic space, lying within the organ of Corti


The bony labyrinth

  1. The vestibule: the central space of the bony labyrinth, containing the utricle and saccule of the membranous labyrinth
  2. The semicircular canals extending from the vestibule posteriorly
  3. The cochlea, extending from the vestibule anteriorly


The membranous labyrinth

  1. The membranous semicircular ducts, within the semicircular canals
  2. The utricle and saccule, contained in the vestibule, and connected by the utriculosaccular duct
  3. The membranous cochlear duct, within the bony cochlea, continuous with the saccule.
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Sensory regions of the membranous labyrinth


Hair cells of the vestibulocochlear system

  1. Type I hair cells, piriform in shape with a rounded base and thin neck, surrounded by an afferent nerve chalice and a few efferent fibres.
  2. Type II hair cells, cylindrical in shape, with afferent and efferent bouton nerve endings the synapse basally.


Cristae ampullaris


Macula Sacculi and Macula Utriculi


Organ of Corti

  1. The scala vestibuli, above
  2. The scala tympani below, and
  3. The scala media, which, itself, is the cochlear duct, filled with endolymph, with the organ of Corti on its lower wall.
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Michael Tam (c) 1999