CT and MR imaging after middle ear surgery

Eur J Radiol. 2001 Nov;40(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/s0720-048x(01)00379-5.


This article describes the current value of imaging in patients after stapes surgery and surgery after chronic otitis media including cholesteatoma. Possibilities and limits of computed tomography (CT) and MRI are described and most important investigation parameters are mentioned. After otosclerosis surgery, CT is the method of first choice in detection of reasons for vertigo and/or recurrent hearing loss in the later postoperative phase. CT may show the position and condition of prosthesis, scarring around the prosthesis and otospongiotic foci. Sometimes, it gives indirect hints for perilymphatic fistulas and incus necrosis. MRI is able to document inner ear complications. CT has a high negative predictive value in cases with a free cavity after mastoidectomy. Localized opacities or total occlusion are difficult to distinguish by CT alone. MRI provides important additional information in the differentiation of cholesterol granuloma, cholesteatoma, effusion, granulation and scar tissue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesteatoma / surgery
  • Chronic Disease
  • Ear, Middle / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ear, Middle / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mastoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Mastoid / pathology
  • Mastoid / surgery
  • Otitis Media / diagnostic imaging
  • Otitis Media / pathology
  • Otitis Media / surgery*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Stapes / diagnostic imaging
  • Stapes / pathology
  • Stapes Surgery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods
  • Tympanoplasty