2016 Volume 15 Issue 2 Pages 203-211
Purpose: To compare the signal increase in cochlear lymph fluid on three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (3D-FLAIR) in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) between regular contrast 3D-FLAIR (FL) and heavily T2-weighted 3D-FLAIR (HF).
Methods: Twenty-five patients with unilateral sudden SNHL and eight healthy volunteers were included. Patients were divided into two groups: the mild group consisted of 9 patients, with an average hearing level of 60 dB or less; the severe group consisted of 16 patients, with an average hearing level of more than 60 dB. All patients and healthy volunteers underwent magnetic resonance (MR) cisternography for anatomical reference of the fluid space with FL and HF at 3 T. The region of interest (ROI) was manually drawn on the mid-modiolar section of the MR cisternography around the cochlea. The ROI for noise was drawn within the air space. ROIs were copied onto the FL and HF images. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between the affected and non-affected ear was measured in the patient group and the CNR between the right and left ear was also measured in the control group. Differences in the CNR on FL and HF images among the three groups were tested by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in mean CNR on HF among the three groups (P < 0.001). Furthermore, based on pairwise comparisons, there was a statistically significant difference between them in mean CNR on HF (P < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in mean CNR on FL among the three groups (P = 0.074).
Conclusions: HF is more sensitive to signal alterations in cochleae with sudden SNHL than FL.