To evaluate the efficiency of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and high-resolution computed tomographic (CT) scan coregistration in predicting and adequately locating primary or recurrent cholesteatoma in children.
Tertiary care university hospital.
Ten patients aged 2 to 17 years (mean age, 8.5 years) with cholesteatoma of the middle ear, some of which were previously treated, were included for follow-up with systematic CT scanning and MRI between 2007 and 2008.
Computed tomographic scanning was performed on a Siemens Somaton 128 (0.5/0.2-mm slices reformatted in 0.5/0.3-mm images). Fine cuts were obtained parallel and perpendicular to the lateral semicircular canal in each ear (100 × 100-mm field of view). Magnetic resonance imaging was undertaken on a Siemens Avanto 1.5T unit, with a protocol adapted for young children. Diffusion-weighted imaging was acquired using a single-shot turbo spin-echo mode. To allow for diagnosis and localization of the cholesteatoma, CT and diffusion-weighted MRIs were fused for each case.
In 10 children, fusion technique allowed for correct diagnosis and precise localization (hypotympanum, epitympanum, mastoid recess, and attical space) as confirmed by subsequent standard surgery (positive predictive value, 100%). In 3 cases, the surgical approach was adequately determined from the fusion results. Lesion sizes on the CT-MRI fusion corresponded with perioperative findings.
Recent developments in imaging techniques have made diffusion-weighted MRI more effective for detecting recurrent cholesteatoma. The major drawback of this technique, however, has been its poor anatomical and spatial discrimination. Fusion imaging using high-resolution CT and diffusion-weighted MRI appears to be a promising technique for both the diagnosis and precise localization of cholesteatomas. It provides useful information for surgical planning and, furthermore, is easy to use in pediatric cases.