Neuroradiology| Volume 69, P179-181, January 2021

Download started.


Pneumatized middle ear ossicle – A normal variant


      • The middle ear ossicles have varying normal morphology.
      • The pneumatized incus and malleus are rare normal anatomic variants and should not be confused with pathological erosions.
      • Important to mention a pneumatized ossicle in the radiology report due to potential surgical implications.


      It is important to be familiar with normal anatomic variants in order to not to mistake them for pathology. It is well known that the middle ear ossicles have varying normal morphology on gross anatomy, but can also be malformed in certain congenital syndromes or eroded in the setting of chronic ear infection or cholesteatoma. This case series describes the pneumatized ossicle on imaging, a rare normal anatomic variant.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinical Imaging
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Mukerji S.S.
        • Parmar H.A.
        • Ibrahim M.
        • Mukherji S.K.
        Congenital malformations of the temporal bone.
        Neuroimaging Clinics. 2011; 21: 603-619
        • Trojanowska A.
        • Drop A.
        • Trojanowski P.
        • et al.
        External and middle ear diseases: radiological diagnosis based on clinical signs and symptoms.
        Insights Imaging. 2012; 3: 33-48
        • Saha R.
        • Srimani P.
        • Maxumdar A.
        • Mazumdar S.
        Morphological variations of middle ear ossicles and clinical implications.
        J Clin Diagn Res. 2017; 11: AC01-AC04
        • Anthwal N.
        • Thompson H.
        The development of the mammalian outer and middle ear.
        J Anat. 2016; 228: 217-232
        • Yokoyama T.
        • Iino Y.
        • Kakizaki K.
        • Murakami Y.
        Human temporal bone study on the postnatal ossification process of auditory ossicles.
        Laryngoscope. 1999; 109: 927-930
        • Nadol J.B.
        • Schuknecht H.F.
        Surgery for otosclerosis and fixation of the stapes.
        in: Nadol J.B. McKenna M.J. Surgery of the ear and temporal bone. 2nd ed. PA, Philadelphia2005: 273-305