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Detection of recurrent and primary acquired cholesteatoma with echo-planar diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

  • A Evlice (a1), Ö Tarkan (a1), M Kiroğlu (a1), K Biçakci (a2), S Özdemir (a1), Ü Tuncer (a1) and E Çekiç (a1)...



To evaluate the diagnostic value of echo-planar diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in pre-operative detection of suspected primary acquired, residual and/or recurrent cholesteatoma.

Materials and methods:

Fifty-eight chronic otitis media patients with suspected cholesteatoma were thus evaluated two weeks pre-operatively, and divided into group one (41 patients, no previous surgery, suspected primary acquired cholesteatoma) and group two (17 patients, previous surgery, scheduled ‘second-look’ or revision surgery for suspected residual or recurrent cholesteatoma). Patients' operative, histopathology and radiological findings were compared.


Cholesteatoma was found in 63 per cent of group one patients and 58 per cent of group two patients at surgery. Histopathological examination of surgical specimens indicated that imaging accurately predicted the presence or absence of cholesteatoma in 90 per cent of group one (37/41; 23 true positives, 14 true negatives) and 76 per cent of group two (13/17; seven true positives, six true negatives). Three patients in both groups were false negative diagnoses and one patient in both groups was a false positive. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of echo-planar diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging of cholesteatoma were respectively 88, 93, 95 and 82 per cent in group one and 70, 85, 87 and 66 per cent in group two.


Echo-planar diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging is a valuable technique with high sensitivity and specificity for cholesteatoma imaging.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Özgür Tarkan, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey 01330 Fax: +90 3223386527 E-mail:


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