Mastoid buffering properties: I. Gas partial pressures

Eyal Raveh, Haya Mover-Lev, Jacob Sadé, Selcuk Guney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Differences in the gas partial pressures between the middle ear (ME) cavity and the blood are an important factor in ME gas economy. Differences in gas partial pressures between various regions of the ME-mastoid air cell system (ME-MACS) could play a role as well. To determine whether gas partial pressure differences do occur between various compartments in the ME, we measured the rate of gas diffusion from one compartment to another in both an artificial model and in the ME-MACS of human temporal bones. The rate of gas diffusion between various areas of the ME and the mastoid tip was found to be rapid, with a half-life on the order of 2 minutes (range 0.8 to 5.3 minutes). We suggest that this high diffusion rate prevents the buildup of significant differences in gas composition in the ME-MACS system, which can therefore be regarded as a homogeneous gas pocket.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-755
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


  • Chronic otitis media
  • Diffusion of gases
  • Mastoid
  • Middle ear gases
  • Middle ear pressure
  • Partial pressure


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