EMBRYOLOGY: DEVELOPMENT OF THE EAR In embryo, a) b) c) develops from distinct and different parts: external ear – sound collection

middle ear – conduction of sound from external to internal ear internal ear – conversion of nerve impulses into sound waves, registers changes in equilibrium

Internal Ear Otic Vesicles (auditory vesicles/otocysts) - 22 days: thickening of each side of rhombencephalon surface ectoderm – called otic placodes - otic placodes invaginate – form otic vesicles - each vesicle divides into - a) ventral component – forms saccule, cochlear duct - b) dorsal component – forms utricle, semicircular canals, endolymphatic duct - membranous labyrinth – name given to epithelial structures Saccule, Cochlea, Organ of Corti - 6th week – saccule forms outpocketing at lower pole – called cochlear duct – grows spirally into surrounding mesenchyme, completes 2.5 turns in the 8th week - ductus reuniens – connection between the saccule and the cochlear duct - mesenchyme around duct becomes cartilaginous, undergoes vacuolization, forms: scala vestibuli and the scala tympani - vestibular membrane- separates the cochlear duct from the scala vestibuli - basilar membrane – separates the cochlear duct from the scala tympani - spiral ligament – attaches the lateral wall of the duct to surrounding cartilage - modiolus – at median angle, future axis of cochlea - epithelial cells, covered by the tectorial membrane, develop into: - a) inner ridge – future spiral limbus - b) outer ridge - organ of Corti – sensory cells + tectorial membrane, nerve supply: auditory fibers of CN VIII Utricle, Semicircular Canals - 6th week – semicircular canals appear as flat outpocketings of (utrical part of) otic vesicle – 3 semicircular canals arise - crus ampullare – end of the canal that dilates - crus nonampullare – other end of the canal that doesn’t widen - 2 crus ampullare fuse – therefore only five crura enter the utricle: 3 with ampulla, 2 without - crista ampullaris – crest that forms in ampullae, contains sensory cells for equilibrium maintenance - maculae acusticae – sensory areas that develop in walls of utricle and saccule - nerve supply to maculae and cristae: vestibular fibers of CN VIII - statoacoustic ganglion – small group of cells that break away from wall of otic vesicle during development (other cells forming this are derived from neural crest) - splits into: - a) cochlear portion – supplies sensory cells of organ of Corti - b) vestibular portion – supplies sensory cells of saccule, utricle, semicicular canals Middle Ear Tympanic Cavity, Eustachian tube - tympanic cavity (endodermal) – derived from 1st pharyngeal pouch

Ossicles -

pouch grows laterally, comes in contact with floor of 1st pharyngeal cleft tubotympanic recess – distal part of the pouch, gives rise to primitive tympanic cavity auditory or Eustachian tube – proximal part, channel through which tympanic cavity communicates with nasopharynx malleus, incus – derived from 1st pharyngeal arch stapes – derived from 2nd pharyngeal arch ossicles appear during first half of fetal life, remain embedded in mesenchyme until 8th month (mesenchyme dissolves) when mesenchyme dissolves, endodermal epithelium connects the ossicles to the wall of the cavity (mesentery-like); supporting ligaments for ossicles develop in these mesenteries tensor tympani – muscle to the malleus; nerve supply: mandibular branch of trigeminal stapedius – attached to stapes; nerve supply: facial nerve tympanic antrum – dorsal expansion of tympanic cavity mastoid process is invaded by epithelium of tympanic cavity pneumatization – formation of epithelial lined air sacs in the mastoid process most of the mastoid air sacs come in contact with the antrum and tympanic cavity

External Ear External Auditory Meatus - develops from dorsal portion of 1st pharyngeal cleft - 3rd month – epithelial cells at bottom of meatus proliferate forming a solid epithelial plate (meatal plug) - 7th month – plug dissolves, epithelial lining of the floor of the meatus participates in formation of definitive eardrum - congenital deafness – persistence of meatal plug Eardrum/ Tympanic Membrane - made up of: a) ectodermal epithelial lining – bottom of auditory meatus b) endodermal epithelial lining of tympanic cavity c) intermediate layer of connective tissue – forms fibrous stratum - major part of the eardrum firmly attached to handle of the malleus, remaining portion forms separation between external auditory meatus and tympanic cavity Auricle develops from 6 mesenchymal proliferations at dorsal ends of 1st and 2nd pharyngeal arches surrounding the 1st pharyngeal cleft – called auricular hillocks there are 3 auricular hillocks on each side of the external meatus, which later fuse – formation of definitive auricle initially, external ears found in lower neck region, after development of mandible, they ascend to side of head at level of the eyes

CLINICAL CORRELATES Congenital deafness – may be caused by: a) abnormal development of membranous and bony labyrinths b) malformations of auditory ossicles and eardrum c) environmental factors – Rubella virus infection at 7th to 8th week causes severe damage to organ of Corti -poliomyelitis, erythroblastosis fetalis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, toxoplasmosis

External Ear Defects – common, include minor and severe abnormalities - significant because of psychological and emotional trauma they may cause, and also often associated with other malformations *all frequently occurring chromosomal syndromes and most of the less common ones have ear anomalies as one of their characteristics Preauricular appendages – skin tags anterior to ear; may be due to accessory hillocks Preauricular pits – shallow depressions anterior to ear; represent abnormal development of the auricular hillocks

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