European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 275, Issue 11, pp 2643–2652 | Cite as

3D fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) magnetic resonance imaging at different stages of otosclerosis

  • Stefano BerrettiniEmail author
  • Francesco Lombardo
  • Luca Bruschini
  • Annalisa Ciabotti
  • Canapicchi Raffaello
  • De Cori Sara
  • De Marchi Daniele
  • Francesca Forli



The aim of this work is to study otosclerotic patients by 3D-FLAIR (fluid attenuated inversion recovery) sequence magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with and without Gadolinium administration (−/+ Gd), to understand whether there is a direct relationship between radiological findings at 3D FLAIR MRI sequences and some clinical features of otosclerosis, such as the presence and entity of sensorineural involvement, duration of disease, patient gender, and other factors.


38 patients affected by different stages of unilateral or bilateral otosclerosis underwent 3D FLAIR MRI+/− Gd. 11 subjects with normal hearing, previously submitted to 3T MRI for other minor diseases, unrelated with otosclerosis, had been retrospectively enrolled as control group.


We found significant correlations between 3D FLAIR MRI findings and some clinical features of otosclerosis, such as severity of cochlear damage (in terms of entity of sensorineural loss) and duration of disease. These findings indicate that at 3D-FLAIR MRI different patterns may depend on the level of blood labyrinth barrier damage in the cochlea, and be related to different stages of cochlear involvement in otosclerotic patients.


We believe that our findings may contribute in understanding the pathogenesis of cochlear damage in otosclerosis and may have further prognostic value. Our results led us to consider the possible use of 3D-FLAIR sequences in monitoring the effectiveness of any medical therapy of otosclerosis and in selecting the patients eligible for treatment.


Otosclerosis Sensorineural hearing loss MRI 3D-FLAIR 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ENT Audiology and Phoniatrics Unit, Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular Pathology and Emergency MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Division of ENT DiseasesKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Neuroradiology UnitFondazione CNR Regione Toscana “G. Monasterio”PisaItaly

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