Objective: The origin of vestibular symptoms in patients with vestibular schwannoma (VS) is uncertain. We used intratympanic gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the labyrinthine lesions in patients with VS and to explore the features of endolymphatic hydrops (EH) in these patients.
Methods: In total, 66 patients diagnosed with unilateral VS were enrolled in this study and underwent intratympanic gadolinium-enhanced MRI. The borders of the vestibule and endolymph were mapped on the axial MRI images, and the area and volume of vestibule and endolymph were automatically calculated using Osirix software, and the area and volume percentage of vestibular endolymph were obtained.
Results: The area and volume percentages of vestibular endolymph on the affected side were significantly larger than those on the healthy side (both p < 0.001). Using Kendall's W test, we found that the area and volume percentages of vestibular endolymph on the affected side were consistent (p < 0.001), but the consistency was moderate (k = 0.574). The healthy side was also consistent (p < 0.001), and the degree of consistency was moderate (k = 0.444). We used 19.1% as the cut-off point to distinguish the presence or absence of vestibular EH; that is, the volume percentage of vestibular endolymph that was more than 19.1% were defined as the subgroup with hydrops, while the subgroup without hydrops included patients with a baseline level below 19.1%. No volume classification for vestibular EH was proposed. Based on this standard, 11/66 (16.7%) of the patients with VS in this study had vestibular EH.
Conclusions: The volume percentage of the vestibular endolymph was more accurate than the area percentage for assessing vestibular EH. Using 19.1% as the cut-off point to distinguish the presence or absence of vestibular EH, we found that 16.7% of patients with VS had varying degrees of vestibular EH. We believe that the vestibular symptoms in patients with VS may originate from the peripheral lesions.
Keywords: Endolymphatic hydrops; Intratympanic gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging; Vestibular schwannoma; Vestibular symptoms; Volume.
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