MR imaging of cranial nerve lesions using six different high-resolution T1- and T2(*)-weighted 3D and 2D sequences

Acta Radiol. 2002 Jul;43(4):349-53. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0455.2002.430401.x.


Purpose: To find a suitable high-resolution MR protocol for the visualization of lesions of all 12 cranial nerves.

Material and methods: Thirty-eight pathologically changed cranial nerves (17 patients) were studied with MR imaging at 1.5 T using 3D T2*-weighted CISS, T1-weighted 3D MP-RAGE (without and with i.v. contrast medium), T2-weighted 3D TSE, T2-weighted 2D TSE and T1-weighted fat saturation 2D TSE sequences. Visibility of the 38 lesions of the 12 cranial nerves in each sequence was evaluated by consensus of two radiologists using an evaluation scale from 1 (excellently visible) to 4 (not visible).

Results: The 3D CISS sequence provided the best resolution of the cranial nerves and their lesions when surrounded by CSF. In nerves which were not surrounded by CSF, the 2D T1-weighted contrast-enhanced fat suppression technique was the best sequence.

Conclusions: A combination of 3D CISS, the 2D T1-weighted fat suppressed sequence and a 3D contrast-enhanced MP-RAGE proved to be the most useful sequence to visualize all lesions of the cranial nerves. For the determination of enhancement, an additional 3D MP-RAGE sequence without contrast medium is required. This sequence is also very sensitive for the detection of hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / secondary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Contrast Media