High-resolution MR imaging of the inner ear: findings in Menière's disease

Eur J Radiol. Jul-Aug 1992;15(1):83-8. doi: 10.1016/0720-048x(92)90211-q.


Symptoms in Menière's disease are characterized by hydrops of the endolymphatic system with recurrent rupture of the membranous labyrinth. The primary cause of the increased endolymphatic volume appears to be an imbalance between secretion and resorption of the endolymph which may be due to an obstruction of the membranous endolymphatic duct and sac, located in the vestibular aqueduct. The membranous endolymphatic duct and sac are not expected to be visualized using conventional tomography and high-resolution computed tomography (HR-CT), whereas, these are identified with high resolution MRI (HR-MRI). By HR-MRI, we proposed to demonstrate morphological alternation in 12 patients with Menière's disease, this group was compared with a group of 20 healthy subjects. The degree of visualization on HR-MRI of the membranous endolymphatic duct and sac running through the vestibular aqueduct in the bony canal was assessed. There was a distinct decrease in visualization of the membranous endolymphatic duct and sac in the Menière's group. The results confirm the value of the HR-MRI technique to identify an anatomical abnormality, which is directly correlated with the lesion in cases of unilateral Menière's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ear, Inner / pathology*
  • Endolymphatic Duct / pathology
  • Endolymphatic Sac / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged