Background and purpose: MR diagnostic of postoperative recurrent cholesteatomas is difficult. Our purpose was to compare multishot fast spin-echo periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction (PROPELLER) diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) with array spatial sensitivity encoding technique (ASSET) single-shot echo-planar DWI and late postgadolinium T1-weighted MR imaging for the detection of postoperative recurrent middle ear cholesteatomas with a 3T imaging unit.
Materials and methods: Thirty-five patients with suggested postoperative recurrent middle ear cholesteatoma underwent 3T MR imaging with PROPELLER DWI, ASSET echo-planar DWI, and late postgadolinium T1-weighted MR imaging. Three radiologists (2 seniors, 1 fellow) analyzed unlabeled images for visualization of recurrence. Interobserver and intraobserver agreement was assessed by using the Cohen kappa statistic test. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value were assessed for the 3 observers.
Results: Nineteen recurrent cholesteatomas were diagnosed. PROPELLER interobserver agreement was very good (1, 0.89, 0.89) among the 3 observers. Intraobserver agreement between PROPELLER and T1-weighted imaging was very good to moderate (0.88, 0.57, 0.58). PROPELLER DWI provided less interobserver variability than other sequences, and the best sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value.
Conclusions: On a 3T imaging unit, multishot fast spin-echo PROPELLER DWI allows an easier detection of postoperative recurrent middle ear cholesteatoma than T1-weighted imaging by reducing artifacts and by its better contrast. DWI with PROPELLER is diagnostically robust and accurate.