COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

MR imaging of the inner ear and cerebellopontine angle: comparison of three-dimensional and two-dimensional sequences

C Czerny, T Rand, W Gstoettner, G Woelfl, H Imhof, S Trattnig
AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology 1998, 170 (3): 791-6
9490977

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to compare the ability of three-dimensional (3D) T2-weighted turbo spin-echo and gadolinium-enhanced 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences with two-dimensional (2D) T2-weighted turbo spin-echo and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted spin-echo sequences to reveal anatomic and pathologic structures of the inner ear and cerebellopontine angle.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Thirty-one patients underwent axial 2D T2-weighted turbo spin-echo and 3D T2-weighted turbo spin-echo MR imaging, axial and coronal 2D T1-weighted spin-echo MR imaging before and after i.v. injection of gadopentetate dimeglumine, and gadolinium-enhanced axial 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo MR imaging. The visualization of anatomic and pathologic structures on the different sequences was evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed from the data obtained from the visual evaluation of the anatomic structures on the different sequences. Signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios were calculated for the gadolinium-enhanced 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo and 2D T1-weighted spin-echo sequences, and statistical evaluation was performed.

RESULTS: The 3D sequences enabled excellent visualization of 94% of all evaluated anatomic structures, and the 2D sequences enabled excellent visualization in only 3% of these structures. Pathologic structures were revealed in all cases by one or both of the 3D sequences. Diagnosis in all patients could be made by using the combination of the 3D T2-weighted turbo spin-echo and the gadolinium-enhanced 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences. However, the 2D sequences failed to show pathologic structures in three patients. We found a significant statistical difference for the visualization of anatomic structures with the 3D and 2D sequences (p < .0001) and no significant statistical difference for the signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios with the 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo and 2D T1-weighted spin-echo sequences.

CONCLUSION: The 3D sequences revealed anatomic structures significantly better than did the 2D sequences and showed pathologic structures considerably more often than did the 2D sequences in all patients. MR imaging of the inner ear and cerebellopontine angle performed with 3D T2-weighted turbo spin-echo and gadolinium-enhanced 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences provided the most accurate imaging leading to diagnosis in cases of abnormality.

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