Mucous retention cyst of temporal bone: a mimic of cholesteatoma on DW-MRI

Am J Otolaryngol. Nov-Dec 2013;34(6):753-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2013.07.009. Epub 2013 Aug 24.


Non-EPI DW imaging is increasingly being used as a sensitive sequence in detecting cholesteatomas especially if CT findings are not confirmatory. Cholesteatoma appears as a hyperintense focus on DWI. We present two cases of mucous retention cysts in the mastoid temporal bone/middle ear cavity, which present as hyperintense on non-EPI DWI and potentially may mimic cholesteatomas. Differentiating between the two conditions is important, as surgery can be avoided in mucous retention cysts. We have also discussed ways to differentiate between these two conditions on MRI. To our knowledge, this entity is not reported previously.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesteatoma, Middle Ear / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Mucocele / pathology*
  • Otitis Media, Suppurative / etiology
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed