Mastoid air cells

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The mastoid air cells (cellulae mastoideae) represent the pneumatisation of the mastoid part of the temporal bone and are of variable size and extent. 

Gross anatomy

At the superior and anterior part of the mastoid process the air cells are large and irregular and contain air, but toward the inferior part they diminish in size, while those at the apex of the process are frequently quite small and contain marrow. Occasionally, they are entirely absent.

Mastoid air cells communicate with the middle ear via the mastoid antrum and the aditus ad antrum

Related pathology

Anatomy: Head and neck
Share article

Article information

rID: 28366
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tag: sinus
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Cellulae mastoidae
  • Mastoid sinus
  • Mastoid sinuses

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: normal radiographs
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: hyperpneumatisation
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: hypopneumatisation
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.