Invasion of the skull base by carcinomas: histopathologically evidenced findings with CT and MRI

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2002 Nov;259(10):535-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-002-0491-9. Epub 2002 Jun 27.


The depth and extent of the invasion of the skull base by a tumor are the most critical information for successful en bloc resection of the tumor. The only means available for the evaluation of these factors are CT or MRI images. In order to clarify the ability of these imaging modes to delineate the invasion of the skull base, preoperative images of ten patients who underwent en bloc resection of skull base tumors at Kobe University Hospital were compared with the histopathological findings of the resected specimens. CT proved to be superior to MRI for evaluating bone destruction of the skull base. On the other hand, MRI provided more useful information about intracranial invasion than CT. As a hypertrophic linear shadow on Gd-enhanced MRI represented dural invasion or thickened dura mater adjacent to the tumor, this technique should be taken into consideration to determine the dural resection. We concluded that preoperative evaluation of the depth of skull base invasion by both CT and Gd-enhanced MRI is essential for planning complete tumor resection.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radioisotopes
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radioisotopes
  • Gadolinium