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Morphometric evaluation of facial and vestibulocochlear nerves using magnetic resonance imaging in patients with Menière’s disease - a retrospective study
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  • Wilhelm Flatz,
  • Annika Henneberger,
  • Robert Guerkov,
  • Regina Schinner,
  • Ullrich Müller-Lisse,
  • Maximilian Reiser,
  • Birgit Ertl-Wagner
Wilhelm Flatz
University of Munich

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Annika Henneberger
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Robert Guerkov
Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
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Regina Schinner
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Medizinische Fakultät
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Ullrich Müller-Lisse
University of Munich
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Maximilian Reiser
University of Munich
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Birgit Ertl-Wagner
The Hospital for Sick Children
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Objectives: Several studies proposed a loss of neural structures in Menière’s disease (MD). It has also been shown that VIIth and VIIIth cranial nerves are enlarged within MD patients compared to normal controls. We aimed to investigate potential differences in these two nerves in patients with MD. Setting: 71 patients with MD were included, 53 showed clinically unilateral affection. Constructive-interference-in-steady-state(CISS) and 3D-FLAIR-inversion-recovery(IR) sequences with two different slice thicknesses were acquired on a clinical 3T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. We evaluated morphometric properties of the VIIth and VIIIth cranial nerves passing from the cerebellopontine angle to the inner ear modiolus. In patients with clinically unilateral MD, we compared the unaffected to the clinically affected side. In addition, we evaluated the morphology of the nerves in correlation to symptom duration. Results: The clinically unilateral MD-patients showed no significant differences after Bonferroni correction when comparing the affected side to the non-affected side of VIIth and VIIIth cranial nerves. There was no significant difference between patients with different symptom durations. Conclusions: Our data showed no differences in nerve morphometry between the clinically non-affected and the clinically affected side in patients with clinically unilateral MD. There was also no correlation to duration of symptoms, in contrast to previously demonstrated correlations between clinical features and the extent of endolymphatic hydrops. A disease process starting before onset of clinical symptoms could be a potential explanation.