Mastoid cells

Mastoid cells
Gray139.png
Coronal section of right temporal bone. (Mastoid cells labeled at bottom left.)
Latin cellulae mastoideae
Gray's subject #34 142
Artery stylomastoid artery

A section of the mastoid process of the temporal bone of the cranium shows it to be hollowed out into a number of spaces, the mastoid cells, which exhibit the greatest possible variety as to their size and number.

At the upper and front part of the process they are large and irregular and contain air (a form of skeletal pneumaticity), but toward the lower part they diminish in size, while those at the apex of the process are frequently quite small and contain marrow; occasionally they are entirely absent, and the mastoid is then solid throughout.

Clinical significance

Infections in the middle ear can easily spread into the mastoid area via the aditus ad antrum and mastoid antrum.

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.


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