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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-15

Magnetic resonance imaging criteria in vascular compression syndrome

1 Department of ENT, Military Medical Academy, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of ENT, Hopital Nord, Marseille, France
3 Department of Radiology, Hopital Nord, Marseille, France

Correspondence Address:
Sherif Elaini
MD, Department of ENT, Military Medical Academy, 22 Masakn, Cairo University, 12351 Giza
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJO.0000423132.45878.f4

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The aim of this work is to show the imaging criteria of the offending vessel in neurovascular compression syndrome in the cerebellopontine angle using MRI. This will increase the acceptance of the concept of vascular compression syndrome of the cranial nerves as an etiology of trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and some cases of disabling vertigo and tinnitus.

Materials and methods

Between 1994 and 2008, MRI radiographs of 782 cases of vasculoneural compression were reviewed to analyze the imaging criteria of the offending vascular loop and were correlated with intraoperative vascular decompression findings in various pathologies such as hemifacial spasm, trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, vertigo, and tinnitus.


The specificity and high sensitivity of the T2 constructive interference in steady state or fast spin eco sequence MRI allowed us to precisely define the vasculoneural conflict in almost all cases and to highlight certain radiological criteria required for a vasculoneural conflict diagnosis in general. These criteria are mainly the presence of a vascular loop that is perpendicular to the course of the nerve and the presence of distortion of the neural structures.


MRI in the T2 sequence is the key assessment in neurovascular compression syndrome.

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