Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 137–140 | Cite as

Radiological patterns of the posterior semicircular canal

  • Ana Isabel CisnerosEmail author
  • Jaime Whyte
  • Claudio Martínez
  • Borja Gracia-Tello
  • Ana Whyte
  • Jesús Obón
  • Rafael Crovetto
  • Miguel Ángel Crovetto
Original Article



The identification and definition of the radiological patterns of the posterior semicircular canal (PSC), with a view to obtain readily applicable conclusions.


The parietal morphology of the PSC has 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 PSC, taking some previously notified, standardised measurements of normality as reference.


318 patients have been analysed (604 petrous bone) by CT and we have distinguished five different radiological patterns: type or normal, thick, thin, pneumatised and dehiscent. The first three patterns, normal, thick and thin, have in common the existence of a compact bone interposed between PSC and posterior fossa, being in the normal pattern has a thickness of between 0.9 and 2.5 mm (327 cases, 54.13 %), in the thick pattern is ≥2.6 mm (99 cases, 16.39 %) and in the thin pattern is ≤1.2 mm (158 cases, 26.15 %). The fourth pattern, pneumatised, is characterised by having retro labyrinthine cells between PSC and media fossa (19 cases, 3.14 %). Finally, a dehiscent pattern was observed in 2 cases (0.3 %).


We describe five different radiological patterns: type or normal, thick, thin, pneumatised and dehiscent. The thin type (<0.5 mm or 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.


Posterior 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 France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Isabel Cisneros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaime Whyte
    • 1
  • Claudio Martínez
    • 2
  • Borja Gracia-Tello
    • 1
  • Ana Whyte
    • 3
  • Jesús Obón
    • 1
  • Rafael Crovetto
    • 4
  • Miguel Ángel Crovetto
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, School of MedicineUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyGeneral Hospital of the DefenceZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Animal Pathology, School of VeterinaryUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Bilbao ClinicVizcayaSpain
  5. 5.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyBasurto HospitalBilbaoSpain

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