The rat eustachian tube: Anatomical, histological, and radiological features

Zhe Wang, Hong Tao Hu, Nader Bakheet, Sung Hwan Yoon, Jung Hoon Park, Kun Yung Kim, Jae Yong Jeon, Woo Seok Kang, Ye Ree Kim, Jorge E. Lopera, Hong Ju Park, Ho Young Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigated the anatomical and histological characteristics of the rat Eustachian tube (E-tube) and the feasibility of Eustachian tubography in a rat model. Materials and methods: Fifteen male Wistar rats were used in this study, and the bilateral E-tubes of each rat were examined. Ten E-tubes were used for anatomical studies, another ten for histological analysis, and the other ten for Eustachian tubography. Five rats were euthanized and decapitated, and ten E-tubes were dissected to describe the anatomy of the E-tube. Ten E-tube specimens obtained from five other rats were sectioned to investigate E-tube histology. Eustachian tubography was performed on the bilateral E-tubes of the other five rats using the trans-tympanic approach. Results: The rat E-tubes consisted of bony and membranous parts. Cartilage and bone tissue covered only the bony part. The E-tubes’ mean diameter and overall length were 2.97 ​mm and 4.96 ​mm, respectively. The tympanic orifices’ mean diameter was 1.21 ​mm. The epithelium of E-tubes was mainly composed of pseudostratified ciliated and goblet cells. Eustachian tubography was successfully performed on both sides of the Etube for each rat. The technical success rate was 100%, the average running time was 4.9 ​min, and no procedure-related complications occurred. On tubography images, the E-tube, tympanic cavity, and nasopharynx could be identified because of the visualization of bony landmarks. Conclusion: In this study, we described the anatomical and histological features of rat E-tubes. With the aid of these findings, E-tube angiography was successfully performed using a transtympanic approach. These results will facilitate further investigation of E-tube dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interventional Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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