Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
The tympanic cavity consists of two parts: the tympanic cavity proper, opposite the tympanic membrane, and the attic or epitympanic recess, above the level of the membrane; the latter contains the upper half of the malleus and the greater part of the incus. Including the attic, the vertical and antero-posterior diameters of the cavity are each about 15 mm. The transverse diameter measures about 6 mm. above and 4 mm. below; opposite the center of the tympanic membrane it is only about 2 mm. The tympanic cavity is bounded laterally by the tympanic membrane; medially, by the lateral wall of the internal ear; it communicates, behind, with the tympanic antrum and through it with the mastoid air cells, and in front with the auditory tube (Fig. 907).
The Tegmental Wall or Roof (paries tegmentalis) is formed by a thin plate of bone, the tegmen tympani, which separates the cranial and tympanic cavities. It is situated on the anterior surface of the petrous portion of the temporal bone close to its angle of junction with the squama temporalis; it is prolonged backward so as to roof in the tympanic antrum, and forward to cover in the semicanal for the Tensor tympani muscle. Its lateral edge corresponds with the remains of the petrosquamous suture.
The Jugular Wall or Floor (paries jugularis) is narrow, and consists of a thin plate of bone (fundus tympani) which separates the tympanic cavity from the jugular fossa. It presents, near the labyrinthic wall, a small aperture for the passage of the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve.
The Membranous or Lateral Wall (paries membranacea; outer wall) is formed mainly by the tympanic membrane, partly by the ring of bone into which this membrane is inserted. This ring of bone is incomplete at its upper part, forming a notch (notch of Rivinus), close to which are three small apertures: the iter chordæ posterius, the petrotympanic fissure, and the iter chordæ anterius.
The iter chordæ posterius (apertura tympanica canaliculi chordæ) is situated in the angle of junction between the mastoid and membranous wall of the tympanic cavity immediately behind the tympanic membrane and on a level with the upper end of the manubrium of the malleus; it leads into a minute canal, which descends in front of the canal for the facial nerve, and ends in that canal near the stylo-mastoid foramen. Through it the chorda tympani nerve enters the tympanic cavity.
The petrotympanic fissure (fissura petrotympanica; Glaserian fissure) opens just above and in front of the ring of bone into which the tympanic membrane is inserted; in this situation it is a mere slit about 2 mm. in length. It lodges the anterior process and anterior ligament of the malleus, and gives passage to the anterior tympanic branch of the internal maxillary artery.