A STUDY was made of the anatomical structure and functional significance of the ultriculo-endolymphatic (UE) valve in man. The material consists of 170 human temporal bones of which 75 were chosen to show normal structure through nine decades of life, 29 with endolymphatic hydrops, 22 with developmental defects and 44 with pertinent staining characteristics of the endolymphatic fluid. The studies show that the UE valve is ideally suited to preserve the humoral and anatomical features of the pars superior (utricle and canals) from the developmental, disease, and traumatic susceptibilities of the pars inferior (cochlear duct and saccule). Its function probably is to permit the occasional egress of excessive accumulation of endolymph to be processed in the endolymphatic sac and to accomplish this while preserving the normal endolymph volume and membrane anatomy of the utricle and canals.
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