The human middle ear corpuscles originally described by von Troeltsch are examined by means of light microscopy in 124 subjects, and electron microscopy in 27 subjects. While the corpuscles are not observed in all 19 individuals under age six, and in all 20 adults who had a history of suppurative otitis media, an average of six corpuscles per temporal bone is found in 98 percent of 83 adult subjects who had no history of middle ear disease. Two-thirds of the corpuscles are located in the mastoid, and the remainder in the middle ear. Often, they become bifurcated or trifurcated. Although light microscopy shows that the corpuscle is formed by lamellar capsules and a central core resembling pacinian corpuscles, electron micro-, scopic study failed to confirm that this structure is a typical pacinian corpuscle. Subsequently, possible physiological significance of this corpuscle is discussed.
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