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Anatomical variations of the temporal bone on high-resolution computed tomography imaging: how common are they?

  • V Visvanathan (a1) and M S C Morrissey (a2)



This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of normal variations of temporal bone anatomy on high-resolution computed tomography imaging and report their clinical importance.


A retrospective review was conducted of high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography imaging performed at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde over an eight-year period. The presence of five variants was determined. These variants were: a high dehiscent jugular bulb, an anteriorly located sigmoid sinus, a deep sinus tympani, an enlarged cochlear aqueduct and a large internal auditory meatus.


A total of 339 temporal bones were examined. The incidences of a high dehiscent jugular bulb, anteriorly located sigmoid sinus, deep sinus tympani, enlarged cochlear aqueduct and an enlarged internal auditory meatus were 2.76 per cent, 2.94 per cent, 5.01 per cent, 0.58 per cent and 1.76 per cent respectively.


Anatomical variations of the temporal bone are not uncommon and it is important for the investigating otologist to be aware of such variations prior to undertaking surgery.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr V Visvanathan, Department of ENT/ Head and Neck Surgery, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK E-mail:


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Anatomical variations of the temporal bone on high-resolution computed tomography imaging: how common are they?

  • V Visvanathan (a1) and M S C Morrissey (a2)


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