Anatomy of the petrous bone (CT) - Atlas of human anatomy using cross-sectional imaging



Antoine Micheau, MD , Denis Hoa, MD

Published on

Thursday 21 September 2017


Head and Neck

Anatomical parts

We have created an atlas of the temporal bone which is an educational tool for studying the normal anatomy of the petrous bone based on an MDCT exam of the axial and coronal of the ear and petrous bone. Anatomical structures are visible as interactive labelled images.



Cross sectional anatomy: CT of the petrous bone


An axial and coronal bone multislice computed tomographic imaging of the temporal bone was performed on a normal subject.
Data and DICOM images archived on the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communicating System) were processed and exported as JPEG images. Adobe Flash and Adobe Photoshop allowed us to develop an atlas-based application with suitable functionality and user interface for exploration of the temporal bone and skull base.
Anatomical structures have been labelled according to the Terminologia Anatomica.


Interactive atlas of the temporal bone and ear : axial slice wtith  all structures labeled

Interactive atlas of the temporal bone and ear : axial slice wtith all structures labeled



Anatomy of the temporal bone: how to visualize anatomic labels


This module is a comprehensive and affordable learning tool for residents and medical students and especially for neuro-radiologists and otolaryngologists.
It provides images in the axial and coronal planes, allowing the user to review and learn anatomy interactively. Images are labelled, providing a useful teaching resource. The test mode allows an evaluation of user progress.


The horizontal menu allows access to the groups of anatomical structures:

  • External ear
  • Ossicles
  • Tympanic cavity
  • Bony labyrinth anterior
  • Bony labyrinth posterior
  • Temporal bone
  • Nerves


Coronal anatomy of the ear : ossicles, tympanic cavity, bony labyrinth...

Coronal slice of the ear























As the cursor is moved over an anatomic area, that area is labelled and highlighted: this allows to the viewer to study the bones of the skull base such as the petrous part of the temporal bone.
The CT is a particularly powerful exam for studying the five bony parts of the T-bone:

  • Squamous : forms the lateral wall of the middle cranial fossa
  • Mastoid
  • Petrous : contains the inner ear, internal auditory canal (IAC), petrous apex
  • Tympanic : forms most of the bony external ear
  • Styloid process

The vertical left menu provides cross references with axial, coronal and sagittal images of the T-bone, with anatomical graphics based on a three dimensional (3D) model.

Download e-Anatomy

Mobile and tablet users, you can download e-Anatomy on Appstore or GooglePlay.

e-Anatomy on Appstore e-Anatomy on Googleplay