Objective: To assess the impact on image quality of MRI without magnet removal in cochlear implant (CI) and auditory brainstem implant (ABI) users with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).
Study Design: Prospective cohort.
Setting: Tertiary center for cochlear and auditory brainstem implantation.
Patients: Thirteen patients (10 ABI, 3CI) with NF2 underwent a total of 76 MRI scans.
Interventions: MRI without magnet removal.
Main Outcome measure: Ability to visualize the ipsilateral and contralateral cerebellopontine angles (CPAs) and internal auditory meati (IAM) with head MRI.
Results: Of the 76 scans, 40 were of the head, 28 of the spine and 8 of other regions. Scanning was performed with a tight head bandage and plastic card. There were no cases of altered implant function or demagnetization of the device magnet.
A grading system was used to assess the view of the ipsilateral IAM-CPA. In 85% of head scans, the view was unimpaired (Grade 0). In 13%, there was distortion (Grade 1). In 2% (1 case), the view was entirely obscured by artifact (Grade 2). Views of the contralateral CPA and IAM were unimpaired in all cases. The best 3 sequences for the depiction of the ipsilateral IAM-CPA (percent graded as 0) were as follows: axial 3D inversion recovery prepared fast spoiled gradient echo (100%), 2 mm coronal T1W of the IAM-CPA (88.9%), and 2 mm axial T1W of the IAM-CPA (76.9%).
Conclusion: MRI scanning without magnet removal is safe and well tolerated in NF2 patients with auditory implants. With appropriate MRI sequences, the image quality is not significantly impaired.