High Resolution Three-Dimensional Delayed Contrast MRI Detects Endolymphatic Hydrops in Patients With Vertigo and Vestibular Schwannoma

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Abstract

Objective:

Advances in high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have enabled the detection of endolymphatic hydrops (EH), a pathological ballooning of the endolymphatic fluid system, known to be associated with Menière's disease. When a patient has a known diagnosis of vestibular schwannoma and develops recurrent episodic vertigo spells, many surgeons recommend surgical intervention, attributing the vestibular symptoms to the vestibular schwannoma. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical outcome in patients with vestibular schwannoma and EH, treated medically, for recurrent spells of vertigo.

Patients:

Two patients with EH and vestibular schwannoma who presented with recurrent spells of vertigo are included. Both had characteristic low frequency hearing loss ipsilateral to the schwannoma.

Intervention:

MRI sequences with 3T scanner (Skyra, Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany) using high resolution three-dimensional delayed postcontrast protocol included “cisternographic” T2 and delayed intravenous-enhanced three-dimensional fluid-attenuation inversion recovery (DIVE-3D-FLAIR) sequences, performed with 2350 ms (bright perilymph) and 2050 ms (bright endolymph) inversion times and with subtracted images.

Main Outcome Measure:

MRI FLAIR evaluation of EH and presence or absence of vestibular symptoms.

Results:

Both patients had resolution of the disabling vertigo spells with a diuretic, and Patient 1 had unchanged EH, while Patient 2 had partial resolution of the EH and the FLAIR hyperintensity.

Conclusion:

When EH coexists with vestibular schwannoma in a patient presenting with recurrent vertigo spells, medical treatments for EH may alleviate the vestibular symptoms. We recommend that patients with small vestibular schwannomas who present with vertigo spells undergo high resolution MRI to evaluate for EH and undergo a trial of medical treatment with diuretics.

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