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Micro-channels in the mastoid anatomy. Indications of a separate blood supply of the air cell system mucosa by micro-CT scanning
Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Linköping University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Informatics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9267-2191
University of Ghent, Belgium.
University of Antwerp, Belgium.
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2013 (English)In: Hearing Research, ISSN 0378-5955, E-ISSN 1878-5891, Vol. 301, 60-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The mastoid air cell system has traditionally been considered to have a passive role in gas exchange and pressure regulation of the middle ear possibly with some acoustic function. However, more evidence has focused on the mucosa of the mastoid, which may play a more active role in regulation of middle ear pressure.

In this study we have applied micro-CT scanning on a series of three human temporal bones. This approach greatly enhances the resolution (40–60 μm), so that we have discovered anatomical details, which has not been reported earlier. Thus, qualitative analysis using volume rendering has demonstrated notable micro-channels connecting the surface of the compact bone directly to the mastoid air cells as well as forming a network of connections between the air cells. Quantitative analysis on 2D slices was employed to determine the average diameter of these micro-channels (158 μm; range = 40–440 μm) as well as their density at a localized area (average = 75 cm−2; range = 64–97 cm−2).

These channels are hypothesized to contain a separate vascular supply for the mastoid mucosa. However, future studies of the histological structure of the micro-channels are warranted to confirm the hypothesis. Studies on the mastoid mucosa and its blood supply may improve our knowledge of its physiological properties, which may have important implications for our understanding of the pressure regulation of the middle ear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 301, 60-65 p.
Keyword [en]
mastoid, micro CT, middle ear
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging Medical Image Processing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92813DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2013.03.002ISI: 000320478100009PubMedID: 23518400OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-92813DiVA: diva2:622686
Available from: 2013-05-22 Created: 2013-05-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Structural properties of the mastoid using image analysis and visualization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Structural properties of the mastoid using image analysis and visualization
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The mastoid, located in the temporal bone, houses an air cell system whose cells have a variation in size that can go far below current conventional clinical CT scanner resolution. Therefore, the mastoid air cell system is only partially represented in a CT scan. Where the conventional clinical CT scanner lacks level of minute details, micro-CT scanning provides an overwhelming amount of ne details. The temporal bone being one of the most complex in the human body, visualization of micro-CT scanning of this boneawakens the curiosity of the experimenter, especially with the correct visualization settings.

This thesis first presents a statistical analysis determining the surface area to volume ratio of the mastoid air cell system of human temporal bone, from micro-CT scanning using methods previously applied for conventional clinical CT scans. The study compared current results with previous studies, with successive downsampling the data down to a resolution found in conventional clinical CT scanning. The results from the statistical analysis showed that all the small mastoid air cells, that cannot be detected in conventional clinical CT scans, do heavily contribute to the estimation of the surface area, and in consequence to the estimation of the surface area to volume ratio by a factor of about 2.6. Such a result further strengthens the idea of the mastoid to play an active role in pressure regulation and gas exchange.

Discovery of micro-channels through specific use of a non-traditional transfer function was then reported, where a qualitative and a quantitative pre-analysis were performed and reported. To gain more knowledge about these micro-channels, a local structure tensor analysis was applied where structures are described in terms of planar, tubular, or isotropic structures. The results from this structural tensor analysis suggest these microchannels to potentially be part of a more complex framework, which hypothetically would provide a separate blood supply for the mucosa lining the mastoid air cell system.

The knowledge gained from analysing the micro-channels as locally providing blood to the mucosa, led to the consideration of how inflammation of the mucosa could impact the pneumatization of the mastoid air cell system. Though very primitive, a 3D shape analysis of the mastoid air cell system was carried out. The mastoid air cell system was first represented in a compact form through a medial axis, from which medial balls could be used. The medial balls, representative of how large the mastoid air cells can be locally, were used in two complementary clustering methods, one based on the size diameter of the medial balls and one based on their location within the mastoid air cell system. From both quantitative and qualitative statistics, it was possible to map the clusters based on pre-defined regions already described in the literature, which opened the door for new hypotheses concerning the effect of mucosal inflammation on the mastoid pneumatization.

Last but not least, discovery of other structures, previously unreported in the literature, were also visually observed and briefly discussed in this thesis. Further analysis of these unknown structures is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017. 163 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1862
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology Immunology in the medical area Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137288 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-137288 (DOI)9789176855058 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-08, Hugo Theorell, Universitetssjukhuset, Llinköping, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-05-10 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved

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