Imaging modality of choice for pre-operative cochlear imaging: HRCT vs. MRI temporal bone

Poornima Digge, Rajendra N. Solanki, Dipali C. Shah, Rajesh Vishwakarma, Sandeep Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Congenital inner ear malformations occur as a result of the arrest or aberrance of inner ear development due to the heredity, gene mutation or other factors. Ever since the availability of cochlear implants, pre-operative evaluation by imaging of temporal bone has gained much attention. Precise selection of the candidate for cochlear implant dependent on preoperative radiological investigations. Only CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can provide a better picture of anatomy and pathology. Aim: To compare pre-operative imaging findings of both MRI and High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) temporal bone and to find the best modality of choice in patients with bilateral profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, longitudinal, observational study conducted between June 2010 to November 2012. A total of 144 temporal bones were evaluated in 72 children with bilateral profound SNHL with congenital inner ear malformations. Each temporal bone was considered as a single case (144 cases). All the patients underwent HRCT and high field MRI study. MRI study included T2 W axial 3D FIESTA (Fast Imaging Employing Steady-state Acquisition) sequence. Anatomic abnormalities in each temporal bone were described and noted. For complete and better evaluation of Vestibulo-Cochlear Nerve (VCN) additional 3D oblique parasagittal view was taken perpendicular to the internal auditory canal with a small Field Of View (FOV). Results: HRCT and MRI allowed accurate detection of inner ear malformations in children with bilateral SNHL. Majority of the patients presented with multiple structural abnormalities of inner ear. The common pathologies detected in the study were semicircular canal abnormality (89/144) followed by cochlear abnormalities (39/144). Most common cochlear abnormality was Mondini’s deformity (14/144). MRI demonstrated absent of vestibulo-cochlear nerve in 15 cases. Conclusion: Few abnormalities of inner ear are better illustrated on CT, while others are better showed on MRI. Hence, neither HRCT nor MRI of the brain and temporal bones appears to be adequate imaging modality rather they are complementary to each other for pre-operative imaging of cochlear implantation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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