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Laryngoscope. 1997 Sep;107(9):1217-22.

Acoustic effect of malleus head removal and tensor tympani muscle section on middle ear reconstruction.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, U.S.A.


In the reconstruction of ears with a missing incus, an incus replacement prosthesis (IRP) is commonly used to connect malleus and stapes. In some cases, it is necessary to resect the malleus head and/or section the tensor tympani muscle (TTM) tendon. The acoustic effects of these maneuvers have not been well studied. We performed experiments in a temporal bone model to measure the effect of these maneuvers on middle ear sound transmission. Measurements of umbo and stapes displacement were made before and after malleus head removal and TTM section plus incus replacement with an IRP. After malleus head removal, there was a peak gain in stapes displacement of 6 dB below 0.5 kHz and 8 dB above 2.5 kHz. TTM section had a similar but lesser effect. A clinical example is described.

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