Later stages of development of the periotic duct and its adjacent area in the human fetus

Laryngoscope. 1980 May;90(5 Pt 2):1-31. doi: 10.1288/00005537-198005001-00001.


The later stages of development (16-40 weeks in utero) of the periotic duct and its adjacent areas in the human fetus indicate that the critical stages of development occur in four specific time related stages over a six-week period (20-26 weeks). First, the petrous apex ossifies to separate th inferior cochlear vein into the canal of Cotugno and forms the medial wall of the cochlear aqueduct (22 weeks); second, the canalicular otic capsule fuses with the cochlear otic capsule to obliterate Hyrtl fissure and forms of the lateral wall of the cochlear aqueduct (24 weeks); third, progressive bone deposition to the medial surface of the membranous labyrinth and cochlea at the petrous apex elongates the periotic duct and cochlear aqueduct (32 weeks in utero); and fourth, active arachnoid tissue ingrowth into the periotic duct occurs at 20-24 weeks and 34-40 weeks in utero. The terminal event is widening of the CNS opening of the periotic duct at 32 weeks in utero. The periotic duct and cochlear aqueduct length increase with gestation from 25 weeks until term. The periotic duct width remains the same throughout the gestation. The cochlear aqueduct width diminishes with gestational age. The periotic duct remains patent throughout 16-40 weeks in utero.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cochlea / blood supply
  • Cochlear Aqueduct / embryology
  • Cochlear Duct / embryology
  • Ear, Inner / embryology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Petrous Bone / embryology
  • Temporal Bone / embryology*
  • Veins / embryology