CT and MRI of the semicircular canals in the normal and diseased temporal bone

Eur Radiol. 2001;11(7):1210-9. doi: 10.1007/s003300000703.


Imaging of the semicircular canals specifically is part of the imaging process of the temporal bone in general. The semicircular canals are easily seen on CT images and 3DFT-CISS-weighted MR images, both performed with 1.0-mm-thick slices, or even thinner slices. In selected cases, the T1-weighted images give unique information on the semicircular canals. This article briefly reviews the variety of semicircular canal anomalies that are most frequently present and can be routinely seen on CT and MR examinations of the temporal bone. It also provides a list that can be used by the radiologist in clinical practice to decide which technique, CT or MR, should be used to detect specific anomalies at the level of the semicircular canals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Semicircular Canals / anatomy & histology
  • Semicircular Canals / diagnostic imaging*
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology*
  • Temporal Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*