Intratemporal course of the facial nerve: morphological, topographic and morphometric features

Vol. 51 No. 2, 2010


Nicoleta Maru, A. C. Cheita, Carmen Aurelia Mogoanta, B. Prejoianu

The purpose of this study is to present some morphological and morphometric aspects of the facial nerve and especially of the tympanic and mastoid segments of this nerve. The authors follow up a mesoscopic study concerning the tract (length, angulation, width) of these segments and the anatomic relations with the important structures of the middle ear. At the same time, some anatomical variations which involve the canal of the facial nerve (dehiscences, tract deviation or other anatomical deviations) are presented. To evaluate the risk of the facial nerve injury during operations for chronic otitis media with or without cholesteatoma, stapedectomy in otosclerosis, exploratory tympanotomy, tympanoplasty, canaloplasty, osteomas surgery or other otologic surgery that involve facial nerve area. The intricate course of the facial nerve through the temporal bone is of vital concern to all otologic surgeons, since it often traverses the surgical field. Therefore, authors will review the course of the facial canal through the petrosal portion of the temporal bone from the internal auditory meatus to the stylomastoid foramen, paying particular attention to its relations to adjacent structures.

Corresponding author: Nicoleta Maru, Senior Lecturer, MD, PhD, e-mail:

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