Membranous labyrinth

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The membranous labyrinth or endolymphatic labyrinth is the part of the inner ear housed in the osseous labyrinth. It comprises 3 distinct, but joined, sensory sacs and ducts supplied by the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII):

As the membranous labyrinth is slightly smaller than the osseous labyrinth, the two are separate by perilymph, which does not communicate with the endolymph contained in the membranous labyrinth.

The inferior vestibular branch of the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) supply the saccule and posterior semicircular duct.

The superior vestibular branch of the CN VIII supplies the utricle, superior (anterior) and lateral (horizontal) semicircular ducts.

The cochlear branch of CN VIII supplies the cochlear duct.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 66901
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Endolymphatic labyrinths
  • Membranous labyrinths
  • Endolymphatic labyrinth

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