A Morphometric Study of the Semicircular Canals Using Micro-CT Images in Three-Dimensional Reconstruction


Correspondence to: Ki-Seok Koh, Department of Anatomy, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea. Fax: +82-2-20307845. E-mail: kskoh@kku.ac.kr


It is generally accepted that the three semicircular canals are set at right angles to each other and the lateral semicircular canal is smaller than the anterior and posterior semicircular canals. Precise knowledge of the size and spatial relationships of the semicircular canals is vital, and so the 40 petrous parts of the temporal bones were scanned by micro-CT at a slice thickness of 35 µm. The micro-CT images were used in reconstructing three-dimensional models of the bony labyrinth using computer software. Various dimensions of the semicircular canals were measured using the software, and statistical analysis was performed. The anterior semicircular canal was slightly wider than the posterior semicircular canal, and their heights were similar. The radius of curvature of the lateral semicircular canal was 20% smaller than those of the anterior and posterior semicircular canals. The angles between the three canals were not exactly 90 degrees: they were 92.1, 84.4, and 86.2 degrees between the anterior and posterior, anterior and lateral, and posterior and lateral semicircular canals, respectively. We obtained high-resolution images of the semicircular canals using three-dimensional reconstruction software, and these were used to precisely measure the angles between the semicircular canals and the area of the distorted circle formed by each semicircular canal. Anat Rec, 296:834–839, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.