Prompt contrast enhancement of cerebrospinal fluid space in the fundus of the internal auditory canal: observations in patients with meningeal diseases on 3D-FLAIR images at 3 Tesla

Magn Reson Med Sci. 2006 Oct;5(3):151-5. doi: 10.2463/mrms.5.151.


We speculated that meningeal pathologies might facilitate the permeability of cranial nerves at the fundus of the internal auditory canal (IAC), causing prompt enhancement after administration of Gd-DTPA. Using a 3D- fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequence, we evaluated the enhancement of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) space in the IAC fundus 10 min after Gd-DTPA administration in patients with meningeal diseases. Twenty patients (aged 22 to 79 years) were divided into 2 groups, a group with meningeal disease comprising 9 patients with meningeal abnormalities (6, tumor dissemination; 3, infection) and a control group of 11 patients with unilateral IAC pathology whose healthy sides were included as controls. Six of the 9 patients in the group with meningeal disease showed bilateral enhancement; one showed unilateral enhancement. None of the control group showed enhancement in the healthy side. One patient with Ramsay-Hunt syndrome showed only ipsilateral enhancement. Enhancement in the IAC fundus was frequently observed in patients with meningeal disease, even just 10 min after administration of contrast agent. This enhancement in the IAC fundus was never visible on T1-weighted 3D-FLASH images.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Ear, Inner / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Labyrinth Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Labyrinth Diseases / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Meninges / pathology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Contrast Media
  • gadodiamide
  • Gadolinium DTPA