BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Improved MR imaging at higher field strengths enables more detailed imaging of cranial nerves. The aim of this study was to assess the identifiability of the NI in the CPA and IAC by using high-resolution 3T MR imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven healthy volunteers (13 men and 14 women; mean age, 33 years) underwent 3T MR imaging of the CPA. The section thicknesses of the CISS sequence was 0.4 mm (TR, 12.18 ms; TE, 6.09 ms) using a 12-channel head coil. Evaluation was performed by using MPR mode. Image quality and identifiability of the NI were rated independently by 2 observers according to predefined criteria on an ordinal scale. Interobserver agreement was assessed by κ statistics. RESULTS: Fifty-four NIs were evaluated. Both observers were able to identify the NI in nearly 60% of cases. It was possible to indentify at least 1 NI in 70% of all volunteers in the CPA and/or IAC. Image quality ratings showed a substantial agreement (κ = 0.65) and identifiability ratings an almost perfect (κ = 0.83) agreement. CONCLUSIONS: Careful evaluation of all nervous and vascular structures in the CPA and IAC at high-resolution 3T MR imaging allows reliable depiction of the NI.
Burmeister, H. P., Baltzer, P. A., Dietzel, M., Krumbein, I., Bitter, T., Schrott-Fischer, A., … Kaiser, W. A. (2011). Identification of the nervus intermedius using 3T MR imaging. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 32(3), 460–464. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A2338