Objectives : The foramen tympanicum or foramen of Huschke is a persistent anatomic variation of the temporal bone due to a defect in ossification normal bone physiology in neonatal or postnatal period. Furthermore, it may occur relating with other disorders or pathology. It is observed at the antero-inferior aspect of the external auditory canal (EAC), post-eromedial to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A foramen tympanicum may be related with salivary discharge into the EAC (Eksternal Acusticus Canal) during mastication, or it may predispose to TMJ pathology.
Material and methods : Totally 185 CBCT units (370 ears) were retrospectively examined. In CBCT examination, the axial and sagittal images were evaluated by a trained and calibrated radiologist two times within 10 days interval. In the presence of foramen tympanicum on axial and sagittal planes, the sizes were measured. We recorded the size and location of the foramen tympanicum and calculated its prevalence. The data was evaluated with SPPS 17.0 giving at p < 0.05 significance level.
Results : Foramen tympanicum was determined in 42 (22.7%) of 185 patients. This was unilateral in 25 (59.5%) patients and bilateral in 17 (40.5%) patients. It was found more bilaterally in female patients within significance level at p = 0.024. In axial diameter, the average measurement was found wider in right side of all patients with statistically significance rate ( p = 0.017). In the patient group upper than 18 years old, the presence of foramen was higher with significance level at p = 0.030.
Conclusion : Awareness or detection of this anatomic entity may be useful in evaluating patients with TMJ disorders especially if there is a pain mixed with causes ear or TMJ.