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Timothy C. Hain, MD Page last modified: November 26, 2011

The vestibular system is a critical system and at birth, it is nearly completely developed. The human fetal labyrinth reach its adult size between 17 and 91 weeks of gestation, and is completely encapulated by bone a few weeks later (Jeffery and Spoor, 2005).

Roughly 40,000 to 42,000 nerve fibers are present in the fetus by the age of 38 weeks.

The brainstem structures that transmit vestibular and acoustic information are completely myelinated at birth (Barkovich AJ, 2005)


Barkovich AJ . Magnetic resonance techniques in the assessment of myelin and myelination. Journal of inherited metabolic disease 28: 311-343, 2005.

Jeffery N, and Spoor F . Prenatal growth and development of the modern human labyrinth. Journal of anatomy 204: 71-92, 2004.

Copyright August 3, 2016 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on August 3, 2016