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October 1989

Comparison of Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Chronic Otitis Media With Cholesteatoma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery (Drs Koltai, Parnes, and Bie), and the Section of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology (Drs Eames and Wood), Albany Medical College, NY.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(10):1231-1233. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860340085023

• We prospectively studied 10 patients with chronic otitis media suspected of having cholesteatoma with computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to assess which imaging modality would be most specific in predicting the presence of cholesteatoma. The interpretation of images was then correlated with the operative findings. In 9 of the 10 cases, computed tomography accurately predicted the extent and destructiveness of the disease but did not consistently differentiate between cholesteatoma and associated granulation tissue. In 2 of the 10 cases, the T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated high signal, suggestive of cholesteatoma. In one case, magnetic resonance imaging predicted cholesteatoma on the basis of bony destruction. However, in 7 of 10 cases the scan was nonspecific for cholesteatoma. We conclude that high-resolution computed tomography remains the primary imaging modality for chronic otitis media.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115:1231-1233)