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Clin Radiol. 2010 Mar;65(3):213-7. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2009.11.006. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

A comparative review of multidetector CT angiography and MRI in the diagnosis of jugular foramen lesions.

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Radiology Department, Institute of Neurosciences, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.



To compare the efficiency of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnosis of jugular foramen lesions.


The imaging of 15 patients with tumours predominantly occurring at the jugular foramen was retrospectively reviewed, with postoperative pathology data available for 11 patients. MDCT was performed at arterial phase and MRI with standard sequences and contrast enhancement. All imaging was blindly re-reported by an experienced neuroradiologist.


Pathology reported six glomus jugulare tumours and five neuromas, which were all correctly diagnosed using MDCT. A confident diagnosis was also made in the remaining four cases based on the pattern of enhancement. Only glomus tumours enhanced in the arterial phase. Overall, MRI was used to make a confident diagnosis in eight patients. One showed no enhancement and was correctly diagnosed as a neuroma, and seven demonstrated the tumour flow voids characteristic of a glomus tumour. The remaining seven cases all showed a similar enhancement pattern and could not be confidently differentiated between a neuroma or a glomus tumour. MDCT angiography enabled a confident assessment of the jugular vein in all cases, but MRI was inconclusive in a third of cases. Also, in the nine cases of glomus tumour diagnosed using MDCT, an enlarged feeding artery was identified in eight patients.


MDCT is more accurate than MRI in diagnosing glomus tumours, and in particular, neuromas. It also offers valuable preoperative vascular information to the surgeon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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