[Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of congenital abnormalities of the temporal bone].Radiologe. 2003 Mar; 43(3):227-33.R
Congenital abnormalities of the temporal bone are mostly accompanied by conductive or sensori-neural hearing loss. Before any therapeutic procedures are done high resolution CT (HRCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be performed to establish the correct diagnosis and to plan the potentially surgical intervention. HRCT best depicts osseous changes especially those of the external auditory canal and the middle ear containing the ossicles and the osseous structures of the temporal bone and the petrous bone containing the inner ear. MRI excellently shows soft tissue changes of the inner ear especially on the high resolution 3DT2-weighted sequences which give a superb contrast between the nerves and the cerebro-spinal fluid. Malformations of the external auditory canal consists of aplasia or hypoplasia and those of the middle ear range form extreme hypoplasia or aplasia to very mild deformations of the ossicles. Malformations of the inner ear also range form complete aplasia to very mild hypoplasia of the organs of the inner ear as well as malformations concerning the nerves in the internal auditory canal range from aplasia to hypoplasia. Malformations of the temporal bone can either occur isolated or in combination in which malformations of the external and middle ear may be accompanied by those of the inner ear. Furthermore, malformations of the temporal bone may also occur in otofacial, otocervical or otoskeletal syndromes. These syndromes may be accompanied by certain malformations of the temporal bone. HRCT and MRI are both excellent methods to depict congenital abnormalities of the temporal bone and of the inner ear and should be used as complementary methods because HRCT best depicts osseous changes and MRI superbly depicts soft tissue changes. Both methods are important to establish the correct diagnosis to plan the therapeutic procedures.