Cochlear fossa enhancement at MR evaluation of vestibular Schwannoma: correlation with success at hearing-preservation surgery

Radiology. 2000 May;215(2):458-62. doi: 10.1148/radiology.215.2.r00ma20458.


Purpose: To describe a sign in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging that could reflect the state of the cochlear nerve before hearing-preservation surgery in small vestibular schwannomas.

Materials and methods: Thirty-one patients with serviceable hearing underwent 1.5-T MR imaging before hearing-preservation surgery. The presence of cochlear fossa enhancement on T1-weighted spin-echo images obtained after the administration of contrast material was compared with the results of hearing-preservation surgery.

Results: Cochlear fossa enhancement was present in 13 patients, and all of them had total hearing loss after surgery. There was no cochlear fossa enhancement in 18 patients; 15 maintained serviceable hearing after surgery, and three had postoperative hearing loss with no serviceable hearing (sensitivity, 81%; specificity, 100%).

Conclusion: Cochlear fossa enhancement on T1-weighted spin-echo images seems to be a reliable sign for analyzing the state of the cochlear nerve. The absence of cochlear fossa enhancement could become an additional criterion for selecting the surgical approach in vestibular schwannomas.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Cochlear Nerve / pathology*
  • Cochlear Nerve / physiopathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Deafness / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / diagnosis*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / physiopathology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / surgery
  • Patient Selection
  • Petrous Bone / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Speech Perception
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Contrast Media