Epitympanum

The epitympanum, also known as the attic or epitympanic recess, is the most superior portion of the tympanic cavity. It is that portion of the tympanic cavity superior to the axial plane between the tip of the scutum and the tympanic segment of the facial nerve 1,3.

Posteriorly the epitympanum is in direct continuity with the mastoid antrum via the aditus ad antrum, and thence the mastoid air cells. Its main contents are the head of the malleus and body and short process of the incus, which articulate with each other at the incudomalleolar joint. The normal appearance of these structures on axial CT gives rise to the ice cream cone sign.

Anteriorly is a discrete space, the anterior epitympanic recess, from which the rest of the epitympanum is separated by the cog 2

Laterally lies Prussak space which is located between the scutum and neck of the malleus.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 57531
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • attic
  • epitympanic recess

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: middle ear anatomy: annotated CT
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