BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Current MRI with the CE T1-weighted sequence plays a limited role in the evaluation of facial neuritis due to prominent normal facial nerve enhancement. Our purpose was to retrospectively investigate the usefulness of the CE 3D-FLAIR sequence compared with the CE 3D-T1-FFE sequence in facial neuritis patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed 36 consecutive patients who underwent temporal bone MR imaging at 3T for idiopathic facial palsy. Two readers independently reviewed CE 3D-T1-FFE and CE 3D-FLAIR images to determine the degree of enhancement in each of 5 segments of the facial nerve. We compared AUCs using the Z-test, compared diagnostic performance of 2 MR techniques with the McNemar test, and evaluated interobserver agreement. The Pearson χ2 test was used for each segment of the facial nerve. RESULTS: The AUC of CE 3D-FLAIR (reader 1, 0.754; reader 2, 0.746) was greater than that of CE 3D-T1-FFE (reader 1, 0.624; reader 2, 0.640; P < .001). The diagnostic sensitivities, specificities, and accuracies were 97.2%, 86.1%, and 91.7%, respectively, for CE 3D-FLAIR, and 100%, 56.9%, and 78.5%, respectively, for CE 3D-T1-FFE. The specificity and accuracy of CE 3D-FLAIR were greater than those of CE 3D-T1-FFE (specificity, P = .029; accuracy, P = .008). The interobserver agreements for CE 3D-FLAIR (κ-value, 0.831) and CE 3D-T1-FFE (κ-value, 0.694) were excellent. Enhancement of the canalicular and anterior genu segments on CE 3D-FLAIR were significantly correlated with the occurrence of facial neuritis (P < .001 for canalicular; P = .032 and 0.020 for anterior genu by reader 1 and reader 2, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: CE 3D-FLAIR can improve the specificity and overall accuracy of MR imaging in patients with idiopathic facial palsy.
Lim, H. K., Lee, J. H., Hyun, D., Park, J. W., Kim, J. L., Lee, H. Y., … Choi, C. G. (2012). MR diagnosis of facial neuritis: Diagnostic performance of contrast-enhanced 3D-FLAIR technique compared with contrast-enhanced 3D-T1-fast-field echo with fat suppression. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 33(4), 779–783. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A2851