The purpose of this study is to describe a method for developing fusion imaging for the preoperative evaluation of cholesteatoma. In 33 patients diagnosed with cholesteatoma, a high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography (CT) scan without intravenous contrast and propeller diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed. Both studies were then sent to the BrainLAB work station, where the images were fused to obtain a morphological and color map. Intraoperative findings coincided with fusion CT-MRI imaging in all but two patients. In addition, one false positive and one false negative case were observed. CT and diffusion-weighted MRI are complementary techniques that should be employed to assess a cholesteatoma prior to surgery in many cases. Hence, to combine the advantages of each technique, we developed a fusion image technique similar to those that are routinely employed for radiotherapy planning and positron emission tomography-CT imaging. Fusion images can prove useful in selected cases.
Keywords: Cholesteatoma; Computed tomography; Fusion; Magnetic resonance.