The stapedius is the smallest skeletal muscle of the body, which has a significant importance in otology as one of the important muscles for sound wave modulation. Despite its functional importance, there is very little data available on the morphometrics of this muscle. Therefore, we have systematically reviewed the morphometrics of the stapedius muscle, specifically the length and width of the muscle belly and tendon. A systematic literature search was performed in databases such as Medline, Google Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect, SciELO and otology textbooks using search terms such as “stapedius muscle”, “stapedius tendon”, “morphometrics”, AND “size OR “length” OR “width”, which yielded more than 239 article links. All articles by their title and abstract were screened to see whether they included information relevant to our search terms. We also noted the distance between the stapedius tendon and the facial nerve. Of the eleven articles that met the inclusion criteria, only six studies comprising 106 stapedius muscles had the morphometric data. Pooled data (mean±SD, mm) of the stapedius showed: (i) total length 4.91 ± 0.88, (ii) muscle belly length 3.77 ± 0.63, (iii) tendon length 1.24 ± 0.42, (iv) belly and tendon width 1.29 ± 0.20, and 0.40 ± 0.09 respectively, and (v) distance of the stapedius tendon with the facial nerve 1.26 ± 0.24. Our pooled analysis from the available literature generated more representative values on the size of the stapedius muscle belly and tendon. This information might provide guidance in creating/reconstructing 3-dimensional models of the stapedius muscle and tendon in surgical intervention for otosclerosis.
Bhagath Kumar Potu 1, Soubhagya R. Nayak 2, Ahmed A. Jaradat 3
1 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain
2 Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine & J.N.M Hospital, WBUHS, Kalyani, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Kingdom of Bahrain