The role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in cholesteatoma diagnosis and follow-up. Study with the diffusion PROPELLER technique

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. Nov-Dec 2012;63(6):436-42. doi: 10.1016/j.otorri.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 Oct 23.
[Article in En, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: The diagnosis of cholesteatoma is based on clinical evaluation and computed tomography. New non-echo-planar diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, without intravenous contrast, are capable of differentiating cholesteatoma from inflammatory tissue, cholesterol granuloma and granulation tissues. The technique is very helpful in differential diagnosis of cholesteatoma, mainly after canal wall-up tympanoplasty surgery, to avoid routine second-look surgery in these patients. Congenital cholesteatoma and difficult cases can be detected and correctly diagnosed as well. The aim of this study was to evaluate sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the diffusion-weighted PROPELLER MRI in cholesteatoma diagnosis.

Methods: A prospective study was performed on 52 patients. Clinical and surgical findings were correlated with diffusion-weighted PROPELLER MRI results.

Results: Sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values were 92.85%, 92.30, 92.85 and 92.30%, respectively.

Conclusions: Diffusion-weighted PROPELLER imaging is an effective technique in cholesteatoma diagnosis. It is capable of detecting lesions larger than 2mm.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholesteatoma, Middle Ear / diagnosis*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult