BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Imaging is fundamental to assessing the acoustic pathway in infants with congenital deafness. We describe our depiction of the membranous labyrinth in infants using the heavily T2-weighted 3D FLAIR sequence without a contrast agent. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 10 infants (20 ears) (median term equivalent age: 2 weeks; IQR: 1–5 weeks) who had undergone brain MR imaging including a noncontrast heavily T2-weighted 3D FLAIR scan of the temporal bone. For each ear, 3 observers analyzed, in consensus, the saccule, the utricle, and the 3 ampullae, assessing the visibility (score 0, not appreciable; score 1, visible without well-defined boundaries; score 2, visible with well-defined boundaries) and morphology (“expected” or “unexpected” compared with adults). The heavily T2-weighted 3D FLAIR sequence was scored for overall quality (score 0, inadequate; score 1, adequate but with the presence of image degradation; score 2, adequate). RESULTS: Six (60%) MR examinations were considered adequate (score 1 or 2). The saccule was visible in 10 ears (83.3%) with an expected morphology in 9 ears (90%). In 1 ear of an infant with congenital deafness, the saccule showed an unexpected morphology. The utricle was visible as expected in 12 ears (100%). The lateral ampulla was visible in 5 ears (41.6%), the superior ampulla was visible in 6 ears (50.0%), and the posterior ampulla was visible in 6 ears (50.0%), always with expected morphology (100%). CONCLUSIONS: MR imaging can depict the membranous labyrinth in infants using heavily T2-weighted 3D FLAIR without an injected contrast agent, but the sequence acquisition time reduces its feasibility in infants undergoing MR studies during natural sleep.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology