Epitympanic recess

The epitympanic recess is a hollow located on the superior/roof aspect of the middle ear.

Epitympanic recess
The right membrana tympani with the hammer and the chorda tympani, viewed from within, from behind, and from above. (Epitympanic recess labeled at upper right.)
The medial wall and part of the posterior and anterior walls of the right tympanic cavity, lateral view.
Latinrecessus epitympanicus
Anatomical terminology

Clinical significance

This recess is a possible route of spread of infection to the mastoid air cells located in the mastoid process of the temporal bone of the skull. Inflammation which has spread to the mastoid air cells is very difficult to drain and causes considerable pain. Before the advent of antibiotics it could only be drained by drilling a hole in the mastoid bone, a process known as mastoidectomy.[1]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-02. Retrieved 2008-11-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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