Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 61–65 | Cite as

Radiological patterns of the bony roof of the superior semicircular canal

  • Ana Isabel CisnerosEmail author
  • Jaime Whyte
  • Claudio Martínez
  • Jesús Obón
  • Ana Whyte
  • Rafael Crovetto
  • Miguel Ángel Crovetto
Anatomic Bases of Medical, Radiological and Surgical Techniques



To study the radiological patterns of the bony roof of the superior semicircular canal with a view for obtaining readily applicable conclusions.


84 patients (163 petrous bones) have been studied by Multi-slice Helical Computed tomography (Philips Brilliance 6). We have determined the distribution of the different types of bone cover of the superior semicircular canal, taking some previously notified, standardised measurements of normality as reference.


During the analysis of the roof of the superior semicircular canal, we have distinguished five different types, depending on their thickness and tomodensitometric aspect. Normal pattern in 121 cases (74.2 %), with a thickness of between 0.6 and 1.7 mm, papyraceous pattern or fine thickness ≤0.5 mm that appears in 23 of our cases (14.1 %), thick pattern ≥1.8 mm that we have observed in 11 cases (6.7 %), and pneumatised pattern in 5 cases (3.1 %), which is characterised by having supralabyerinthine cells. Finally, a dehiscent pattern was observed in three cases (1.8 %).


We describe five patterns of superior semicircular canal roofs: normal, thick, papyraceous, pneumatised and dehiscent. The papyraceous type and the dehiscent type would be subject to producing pathology, and in some cases the latter could be a consequence of the former.


Superior semicircular canal Bony roof Radiological patterns Dehiscence 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Isabel Cisneros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaime Whyte
    • 1
  • Claudio Martínez
    • 2
  • Jesús Obón
    • 1
  • Ana Whyte
    • 3
  • Rafael Crovetto
    • 4
  • Miguel Ángel Crovetto
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, School of MedicineUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyHospital General de la DefensaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Animal Pathology, School of VeterinaryUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Bilbao ClinicBilbaoSpain
  5. 5.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyBasurto HospitalBilbaoSpain

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