The aditus is a medical term that refers to an opening or entrance in a body cavity or some other interior space within the body. This term is primarily used in the study of human anatomy. An aditus often serves as a connection point between different body parts. There are several areas of the body which contain this type of opening, each serving different functions.
The laryngeal aditus works to connect the pharynx and the larynx. This particular aditus is important since it works, along with other organs of the body, to prevent both food and air from passing through the opening at the same time. The epiglottis works closely with the laryngeal aditus, as it helps to open and close this entrance as necessary to aid in the passage of food during the early portion of the digestive process without inhibiting the process of breathing. Other names for this particular aditus include the laryngeal inlet or the laryngeal aperture.
The aditus ad antrum mastoideum is the medical term for another type of aditus. It refers to the opening between the epitympanic recess and the mastoid antrum. The epitympanic recess is located in the middle ear and is a frequent location for inflammation and infection involving this area of the ear. It is often considered to be the roof of the tympanic cavity,a basically hollow portion of the skull. The mastoid antrum, also called the tympanic antrum, is a separate cavity located in the temporal area of the skull.
The mastoid antrum, along with the mastoid air cells, are lined with a mucus membrane. This membrane continues, also lining the tympanic cavity. This part of the middle ear is responsible for communicating with the mastoid sinuses as well as the aforementioned epitympanic recess. With the exception of the associated mucus membrane, the tympanic cavity is primarily an empty air space. It is for this reason that middle ear infections develop easily in some people. Massive inflammation is possible in this area, and medical treatment is often required.
The omental foramen was once considered an aditus. This term has since fallen out of favor for this area of the body. A foramen is basically a passageway for communication from one body part to another. In this case, the omental foramen acts as a passage between the primary cavity of the abdomen and the omental bursa. Since it is used more for communication than as a connecting opening, it is no longer considered an aditus by the medical community.