Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Fiber tractography of the MGB from diffusion spectrum imaging: A, Axial. B, Coronal. C, Sagittal. ROIs on the QA map: D, Axial. E, Coronal. F, Sagittal. RhMGN indicates Right MGB; LhMGN, Left MGB.

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss is an acute unexplained onset of hearing loss. We examined the central auditory pathway abnormalities in patients with unilateral idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss using diffusion spectrum imaging and the relationships between hearing recovery and diffusion spectrum imaging parameters.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Forty-eight patients with unilateral idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss with a duration of ≤2 weeks (range, 8.9 ± 4.3 days) and 20 healthy subjects underwent diffusion spectrum imaging tractography. Hearing levels were evaluated using a pure-tone average at initial presentation and 3-month follow-up. Clinical characteristics and MR imaging findings were assessed.

RESULTS

Compared with healthy control subjects, the generalized fractional anisotropy values of patients decreased significantly in the bilateral posterior limbs of the internal capsule, with no differences between the ipsilateral and contralateral sides. The quantitative anisotropy values decreased in the Brodmann area 41, contralateral medial geniculate body, bilateral lateral lemniscus, anterior limb of internal capsule, middle temporal gyrus, and anterior corona radiata. Furthermore, at 3-month follow-up, 14 patients had <15 dB of hearing gain. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated that generalized fractional anisotropy in the ipsilateral medial geniculate body was related to prognosis (sensitivity = 64.7%; specificity = 85.7%; area under the curve = 0.796, 95% CI, 0.661–0.931; P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS

Diffusion spectrum imaging can detect abnormalities of white matter microstructure along the central auditory pathway in patients with unilateral idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The generalized fractional anisotropy value of the ipsilateral medial geniculate body may help to predict recovery outcomes.

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jross

Jeffrey Ross

• Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

Dr. Jeffrey S. Ross is a Professor of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and practices neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. His publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles, nearly 60 non-refereed articles, 33 book chapters, and 10 books. He was an AJNR Senior Editor from 2006-2015, is a member of the editorial board for 3 other journals, and a manuscript reviewer for 10 journals. He became Editor-in-Chief of the AJNR in July 2015. He received the Gold Medal Award from the ASSR in 2013.



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