KeypointsCochlear ImplantationRound WindowMiddle EarInner EarEar AnatomyINTRODUCTIONThe round window (RW) is 1 of the 2 natural openings from the middle ear into the inner ear. It is located at the end of the scala tympani (ST) facing the middle ear cleft, sealed by the RW membrane (RWM). The RW works as a valve, balancing the pressure in the inner ear, which is changed by movements of the stapes inside the oval window. For this, the RW membrane vibrates with opposite phase to vibrations of the stapes footplate, letting the sound energy dissipate again. Hence, the RW is considered to be a precondition for audition, as it allows the incompressible fluid in the cochlea to move, which in turn stimulates the inner ear hair cells by consecutive movement of the basilar membrane.According to our current understanding, the RW thus represents the physiological exit out of the inner ear for the sound energy. Due to technologies, mainly cochlear implants (CI) and active middle ear implants, researchers and surgeons now look at the RW also as another entrance to the inner ear and access to the cortical organ or auditory nerve. With the advent of new electrode designs and greater emphasis on preservation
Clinical Otolaryngology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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