Connections between the facial, vestibular and cochlear nerve bundles within the internal auditory canal

Ozdogmus O., Sezen O., Kubilay U., Saka E., Duman U., San T., ...Daha Fazla

JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, cilt.205, sa.1, ss.65-75, 2004 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 205 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2004
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1111/j.0021-8782.2004.00313.x
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.65-75


The vestibular, cochlear and facial nerves have a common course in the internal auditory canal (IAC). In this study we investigated the average number of nerve fibres, the average cross-sectional areas of the nerves and nerve fibres, and the apparent connections between the facial, cochlear and vestibular nerve bundles within the IAC, using light and scanning electron microscopy. The anatomical localization of the nerves within the IAC was not straightforward. The general course showed that the nerves rotated anticlockwise in the right ear from the inner ear end towards the brainstem end and vice versa for the left ear. The average number of fibres forming vestibular, cochlear, and facial nerves was not constant during their courses within the IAC. The superior and the inferior vestibular nerves showed an increase in the number of nerve fibres from the inner ear end towards the brainstem end of the IAC, whereas the facial and the cochlear nerves showed a reduction in the number of fibres. This suggests that some of the superior and inferior vestibular nerve bundles may receive fibres from the facial and/or cochlear nerves. Scanning electron microscopic evaluations showed superior vestibular-facial and inferior vestibular-cochlear connections within the IAC, but no facial-cochlear connections were observed. Connections between the nerves of the IAC can explain the unexpected vestibular disturbances in facial paralysis or persistence of tinnitus after cochlear neurectomy in intractable tinnitus cases. The present study offers morphometric and scanning electron microscopic data on the fibre connections of the nerves of the IAC.