• Magnetic resonance imaging has proved to be a useful tool for in vivo imaging of a variety of tissues. In this study, magnetic resonance imaging was applied to the middle ear of experimental animals with otitis media. Results showed that the presence and distribution of effusion within the middle-ear space could be readily determined. Moreover, following injection of gadolinium—diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid, a contrast agent, the inflamed middle-ear mucosa could be resolved. A comparison between magnetic resonance imaging and tympanometry with respect to the diagnosis of effusion showed that negative pressure tympanograms were equivocal (50% effusion) and that flat or normal tympanograms were in error in approximately 20% of the observations. These data document a role for magnetic resonance imaging in in vivo studies of the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion.
(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:91-95)