Imaging of the windows of the temporal bone

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2001 Jun;22(3):271-80. doi: 10.1016/s0887-2171(01)90011-3.


Imaging of the window of the temporal bone has became an important tool in the analysis of hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus in a context of trauma, malformation, otosclerosis, and chronic otitis media. A good knowledge of the anatomy and a good technical procedure are necessary for making an efficient diagnosis. The increased thickness of the footplate may be delineated in otosclerosis, chronic otitis media, malformation, when it is measured at 0.7 mm or more in horizontal computed tomography (CT) sections. The traumatic displacement of the stapes, particularly within the labyrinths, is easily diagnosed in horizontal CT section. Imaging of the round window is now very important for the detection of otosclerotic foci, congenital stenosis, and perilymphatic fistula with or without fracture. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the high-resolution T2 plays an important role in the detection of a small amount of fluid in the round window recess, confirming the traumatic perilymphatic fistula without fracture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deafness / diagnosis
  • Deafness / etiology
  • Humans
  • Otitis Media
  • Otosclerosis / classification
  • Otosclerosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Otosclerosis / surgery
  • Oval Window, Ear / anatomy & histology
  • Oval Window, Ear / diagnostic imaging*
  • Round Window, Ear / anatomy & histology
  • Round Window, Ear / diagnostic imaging*
  • Round Window, Ear / injuries
  • Stapes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stapes / injuries
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Temporal Bone / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed