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An anatomical study was performed to describe the endoscopic anatomy and variations of the protympanum, including classification of the protiniculum and subtensor recess.
A retrospective review was conducted of video recordings of cadaveric dissections and surgical procedures, which included visualisation of the protympanum, across 4 tertiary university referral centres over a 16-month period. A total of 97 ears were used in the analysis.
A quadrangular conformation of the protympanum was seen in 60 per cent of ears and a triangular conformation in 40 per cent. The protiniculum was type A (ridge) in 58 per cent, type B (bridge) in 23 per cent and type C (absent) in 19 per cent. The subtensor recess was type A (absent) in 30 per cent, type B (shallow) in 48 per cent and type C (deep) in 22 per cent.
The protympanum is an area that has been ignored for many years because of difficulties in visualising it with an operating microscope. However, modern endoscopic equipment has changed this, providing detailed anatomical knowledge fundamental to ensuring the safety of endoscopic surgical procedures in the region.
This paper attempts to review changes in the lives of hearing-impaired patients within the developing world, brought about by globalisation and development. The paper also explores limitations to improved care and addresses the collective moral responsibility of developed nations.
Analysis of literature.
Within developing nations, large populations have emerged with a similar pattern of problems, access to information and aspirations as those living in developed nations. However, marked differences in income have persisted. These trends have resulted in a relative increase in the proportion of the hearing-impaired population in need of cochlear implantation, while at the same time restricting their access to such treatment.
The emergence of global markets and media and a shared sense of destiny amongst the people of this planet should translate into a concerted, worldwide effort to assist the deaf in developing countries. Much more can be done within existing resources and frameworks to improve the quality of these peoples' lives.
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