The aim of the study is to evaluate the application of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and turbo spin-echo diffusion-weighted imaging (TSE-DWI) fusion imaging for localization of middle ear cholesteatomas.
Eighty-six patients with clinically suspected middle ear cholesteatomas were enrolled prospectively. Ear TSE-DWI and HRCT scans were performed using a postprocessing workstation to generate a TSE-DWI-CT fusion image. Subsequently, all the enrolled patients received surgical treatment. According to the STAM system (difficult access sites [S], the tympanic cavity [T], the attic [A], and the mastoid [M]), the agreement between the localization of lesions evaluated by HRCT, TSE-DWI, and TSE-DWI-CT fusion images and the intraoperatively recorded localization were computed using Cohen κ statistic.
Based on the pathological results, the enrolled patients were divided into a cholesteatoma (n = 50) and a noncholesteatoma group (n = 36). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve for diagnosis of cholesteatoma with TSE-DWI-CT fusion imaging was identical to that using the TSE-DWI images (0.924 vs 0.924, P > 0.05), but was significantly higher than that with HRCT imaging (0.924 vs 0.767, P = 0.0005). Furthermore, the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of TSE-DWI-CT fusion imaging for cholesteatomas were 96.0% and 88.9%, respectively. Depending on whether the cholesteatoma extended to the mastoid, TSE-DWI-CT fusion imaging demonstrated good agreement with the intraoperative record for localization of lesions (κ = 0.808) and had a high accuracy of localization by the STAM system.
Turbo spin-echo–DWI–CT fusion images have a very high diagnostic value for the preoperative localization of cholesteatomas.