SPIR MRI usefulness for steroid treatment management in Tolosa-Hunt syndrome

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A 40-year-old man underwent surgery for a right middle ear cholesteatoma. One month later, he presented with a subacute ocular pain that was followed one day later by the appearance of vertical diplopia attributable to a right superior rectus paresis, lid ptosis and hypoaesthesia in the territory of the I and the II right trigeminal branches. A fatsuppressed (selective partial inversion recovery, SPIR) gadolinium-enhanced MRI favours the detection of inflammatory pathological tissue inside the right cavernous sinus, and in this patient it suggested a diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. The pain disappeared quickly after steroid treatment was started whereas the ocular nerve involvement improved only slightly during the first week of treatment. After two months, the patient only complained of diplopia on up-gaze, but the therapy was discontinued two months later on the basis of both clinical signs and MRI findings. SPIR MRI may be useful not only to support a diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome, but also to follow-up the disease course and to manage steroid treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-139
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Therapy
  • Tolosa-Hunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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