Feasibility of Quantitative Diffusion MR Tractography of the Vestibulocochlear Nerve in Children with Unilateral Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Diffusion MR tractography modeling of the vestibulocochlear nerve (VCN) has clinical value for characterizing hearing loss and surgical planning for cochlear implants; however, the neuroanatomy of the VCN presents technical challenges to image-based modeling. We conducted a feasibility study to evaluate VCN tractography in children with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss using advanced diffusion MRI acquisitions and modeling techniques. The results indicate tractography of the VCN is clinically feasible and quantitative tractography metrics reflect lateralization of hearing loss. We further found significant improvements from a reverse-phase encoding acquisition and multi-shell multi-compartment diffusion modeling.

In Proceedings of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM)