Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the inner ear with a long echo train, three-dimensional (3D), asymmetric Fourier-transform, fast spin-echo (SE) sequence with use of a dedicated quadrature-surface phased-array coil to detect vestibular schwannoma in the cerebellopontine angle and the internal auditory canal.
Materials and methods: In 205 patients (410 ears) with ear symptoms, 1.5-T MR imaging was performed with unenhanced 3D asymmetric fast SE and gadolinium-enhanced 3D gradient-recalled (SPGR) sequences with use of a quadrature surface phased-array coil. The 3D asymmetric fast SE images were reviewed by two radiologists, with the gadolinium-enhanced 3D SPGR images used as the standard of reference.
Results: Nineteen lesions were detected in the 410 ears (diameter range, 2-30 mm; mean, 10.5 mm +/- 6.4 [standard deviation]; five lesions were smaller than 5 mm). With 3D asymmetric fast SE, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, respectively, were 100%, 99.5%, and 99.5% for observer 1 and 100%, 99.7%, and 99.8% for observer 2.
Conclusion: The unenhanced 3D asymmetric fast SE sequence with a quadrature-surface phased-array coli allows the reliable detection of vestibular schwannoma in the cerebellopontine angle and internal auditory canal.