Send to

Choose Destination
Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2010 Oct;43(5):1059-80. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2010.06.001.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the inner ear in Meniere's disease.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology, University of Tampere, Teiskontie 35, 33520, Tampere, Finland.


Recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques have made it possible to examine the compartments of the cochlea using gadolidium-chelate (GdC) as a contrast agent. As GdC loads into the perilymph space without entering the endolymph in healthy inner ears, the technique provides possibilities to visualize the different cochlear compartments and evaluate the integrity of the inner ear barriers. This critical review presents the recent advancements in the inner ear MRI technology, contrast agent application and the correlated ototoxicity study, and the uptake dynamics of GdC in the inner ear. GdC causes inflammation of the mucosa of the middle ear, but there are no reports or evidence of toxicity-related changes in vivo either in animals or in humans. Intravenously administered GdC reached the guinea pig cochlea about 10 minutes after administration and loaded the scala tympani and scala vestibuli with the peak at 60 minutes. However, the perilymphatic loading peak was 80 to 100 minutes in mice after intravenous administration of GdC. In healthy animals the scala media did not load GdC. In mice in which GdC was administered topically onto the round window, loading of the cochlea peaked at 4 hours, at which time it reached the apex. The initial portions of the organ to be filled were the basal turn of the cochlea and vestibule. In animal models with endolymphatic hydrops (EH), bulging of the Reissner's membrane was observed as deficit of GdC in the scala vestibuli. Histologically the degree of bulging correlated with the MR images. In animals with immune reaction-induced EH, MRI showed that EH could be limited to restricted regions of the inner ear, and in the same inner ear both EH and leakage of GdC into the scala media were visualized. More than 100 inner ear MRI scans have been performed to date in humans. Loading of GdC followed the pattern seen in animals, but the time frame was different. In intravenous delivery of double-dose GdC, the inner ear compartments were visualized after 4 hours. The uptake pattern of GdC in the perilymph of humans between 2 hours and 7 hours after local delivery needs to be clarified. In almost all patients with probable or suspected Ménière's disease, EH was verified. Specific algorithms with a 12-pole coil using fluid attenuation inversion recovery sequences are recommended for initial imaging in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center