Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University HospitalYFriedrich Schiller, University Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, D-07740 Jena, Germany.
Purpose: This study examines the identifiability of the intratemporal motor facial nerve using 3-T and 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Methods: Twenty subjects underwent T1- and T2-weighted MRI of the temporal bone. Acquisition was performed using a head coil at 3 and 1.5 T as well as a surface coil at 3 T. Layer thicknesses were 0.6 mm for 3-T and 0.8 mm for 1.5-T MRI. Eight topodiagnostically relevant facial nerve and branch structures were statistically evaluated.
Results: The main trunk could be identified in all examinations. Sequences acquired with a head coil at 3 T yielded statistically significant superiority (P < 0.001) over 3-T surface coil and 1.5-T head coil measurements. The precise identifiability of the smallest structures (eg, stapedial nerve) succeeded best by means of T1-weighted 3-T MRI.
Conclusions: Due to the precise identifiability of the smallest branches, 3-T MRI improves diagnostics particularly with regard to preoperative planning.