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Cleft Palate J. 1983 Jul;20(3):218-26.

The anatomy of the auditory tube and paratubal musculature in a one month old cleft palate infant.


The auditory tube, middle and inner ear, and paratubal musculature were removed en bloc at autopsy from a 1 month old white cleft palate female. The specimen was serially sectioned in a coronal plane and studied under light microscopy. Severe inflammatory changes were observed in the middle ear and osseous portion of the auditory tube in association with the presence of a middle ear effusion. While the posterior tubal lumen, tubal cartilage, and tensor veli palatini (TVP) and tensor tympani muscles were similar to those of an age-matched control specimen, the anterior tubal lumen was seen to be superoinferiorly abbreviated with a large intrusive malpositioned levator veli palatini (LVP) muscle occupying the inferior tubal floor. This muscle was noted to divide into two bundles on proceeding posteriorly with the more superior bundle taking an abnormal origin from the inferior surface of the tube. The luminal compression observed in this specimen is reminiscent of that previously described in cleft fetuses though the abnormal morphology of the LVP muscle has not been reported for the few cleft palate specimens studied. It is probable that this morphology is idiomatic to the present specimen and not a characteristic of the cleft palate condition.

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