Value of DW-MRI in the preoperative evaluation of congenital cholesteatoma.


Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : This study evaluated the clinical value of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in the diagnosis and staging of congenital cholesteatoma (CC).
METHODS : We retrospectively reviewed 24 patients with CC. All the patients underwent computed tomography (CT) and DW-MRI preoperatively; thereafter, surgery was performed. DW-MRI examination was performed with a 3 T MRI system using three-dimensional reversed fast imaging with steady-state precession and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance sequence. The preoperative and operative CT and DW-MRI findings were compared.
RESULTS : Using DW-MRI, cholesteatoma was successfully detected in 17 (71%) of the 24 patients with CC. Among the seven patients with false-negative results, the cholesteatoma mass diameter was <5 mm in six patients and ≥5 mm in one patient. One of these patients had open type congenital cholesteatoma (OTCC). The detection rates for closed type cholesteatoma and OTCC were 85% (17/20) and 0% (0/4), respectively, using DW-MRI. Using CT and DW-MRI, the correct stage was identified in 88% (15/17) and 59% (10/17) of the patients with aeration around the CC and in 0% (0/7) and 100% (7/7) of those without aeration around the CC, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS : CT is the primary imaging tool for evaluating suspected CC in patients with aeration around the CC. However, CT is unreliable for the detection of the extension and staging of CC when the middle ear is filled with nonspecific imaging. DW-MRI is useful for the preoperative diagnosis and staging of CC > 5 mm in diameter with or without surrounding granulation tissue. Thus, we recommend using DW- MRI at least when CT fails to localize CC as a soft tissue mass because of non-specific tissue filling the middle ear and the mastoid.


Computed tomography,Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging,Staging of congenital cholesteatoma,Type of congenital cholesteatoma,

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