MRI findings of a middle ear cholesteatoma in a dog

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Harran NX, Bradley KJ, Hetzel N, et al.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 2012;48:339-343.

This article describes the MRI features of a middle ear cholesteatoma in an 8 yr old flat-coated retriever. Physical examination revealed pain on opening the jaw, and otoscopic examination showed tympanic membrane rupture associated with hyperplastic tissue at the entrance of the middle ear. Standard MRI sequences allowed for the identification of a severely expanded bulla containing material that was isointense to brain tissue on T1-weighted images and of mixed intensity on T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences. No postcontrast enhancement of the content was present, but the lining of the bulla was partially enhanced. The images allowed evaluation of the surgical margins and the secondary changes due to the expansion of the mass. Surgery was performed and histopathology confirmed the presumptive diagnosis of cholesteatoma. In the present case, MRI appeared to serve as a good alternative to computed tomography for the diagnosis of cholesteatoma.