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The number of cochlear implant (CI) users is ever increasing worldwide, as is the utilization of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a key diagnostic modality for pathology of the brain and surrounding structures. Despite advances in MRI compatibility with CI, metal artefact remains a significant issue that needs to be addressed. We test our hypothesis that the slice encoding for metal artefact correction and view angle tilting (SEMAC-VAT) metal artefact reduction technique improves demonstration of posterior fossa structures on MRI in CI recipients. A retrospective case review. A tertiary referral hearing implant and skull base center. Dedicated MRI of the posterior fossa using T1 spin echo post-gadolinium sequences with and without the application of SEMAC-VAT in CI recipients. Extent and severity of the artefact and visualization of surrounding anatomic structures with and without the application of SEMAC-VAT, allowing for direct comparison. Eight CI recipients with nine CI devices were analyzed. We noted a significant reduction in signal void and improved visibility of the ipsilateral hemisphere in every case. Penumbra size increased although there was improved visibility through the penumbra. There was improved visualization of key intracranial structures, such as the ipsilateral internal auditory canal, cerebellopontine angle, cerebellar hemisphere, and brainstem. Application of SEMAC-VAT produces a significant reduction in signal void and improved visualization of key structures within the temporal bone and posterior cranial fossa in patients with CIs without the need for removal of the internal magnet. Copyright © 2020, Otology & Neurotology, Inc.


Nikul Amin, Irumee Pai, Philip Touska, Steve E J Connor. Utilization of SEMAC-VAT MRI for Improved Visualization of Posterior Fossa Structures in Patients With Cochlear Implants. Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology. 2021 Apr 01;42(4):e451-e458

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PMID: 33534384

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