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Ultrastructural studies of the guinea pig tympanic membrane failed to reveal specific morphological features that could be associated with migration. A staining method was used to study epithelial migration on 68 normal guinea pig tympanic membranes. A very predictable migratory pattern emerged which was neither influenced by perforation or ventilating tube insertion. Clinical studies in children on 61 normal tympanic membranes revealed a rapid migration which was unchanged by middle ear effusion. A centrifugal pattern of migration was observed in relation to the 23 chronic perforations studied. The kinetics of epithelium in relation to 41 ventilating tubes and in 23 retraction pockets is described.