Scanning Microscopy


The vascular system of the inner ear was investigated in 18-21 weeks old human fetuses, using the corrosion cast technique in scanning electron microscopy. At that developmental stage, vascularization of the cochlea and semicircular canals shows a pattern very similar to that described for adults. The most important differences which can be regarded as fetal features include: (1) denser limbus vessels, (2) the marginal vessels of the spiral lamina appearing as irregular network which shows a less clear arcade-like arrangement, (3) some radiating arterioles of the spiral lamina and marginal vessels possessing connections with the vascular system of the external wall, and (4) a dense, sinusoidal network of draining venules at scala tympani. These features apparently disappear during the final remodelling of the inner ear microvasculature in the last trimester.

Included in

Biology Commons