Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the signal intensity (SI) change of the labyrinth in patients with vestibular schwannoma on isotropic 3D fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging at 3 T.
Methods: Thirty-four patients with surgically confirmed or radiologically diagnosed vestibular schwannoma were included in this study. Retrospectively, we visually and quantitatively compared the SIs of the cochlea and vestibule on the affected side with those on the unaffected side. We also investigated whether there was correlation between the SI ratios (SIRs) of the labyrinth and the audiometric findings.
Results: On 3D FLAIR images, the SI of the cochlea and vestibule on the affected side was significantly increased in 97% (33/34) and 91% (31/34), respectively. While the SI of the cochlea was diffusely increased, that of the vestibule was only partially increased. Quantitative study also revealed statistically significantly higher SIRs of the cochlea (0.99 +/- 0.29) and vestibule (0.73 +/- 0.31) on the affected side, compared with the cochlea (0.47 +/- 0.20) and vestibule (0.19 +/- 0.10) on the unaffected side. There was no significant correlation of the SIRs of the labyrinth with the degree of hearing loss.
Conclusion: In patients with vestibular schwannoma, isotropic 3D FLAIR imaging is a useful method for the evaluation of the SI changes of the labyrinth.