Ultra-High-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Inner Ear at 11.7?Tesla

David S. Thylur, Russell E. Jacobs, John L. Go, Arthur W. Toga, John K. Niparko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: To evaluate the ability of ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging (UHF-MRI) at 11.7?T to visualize membranous structures of the human inner ear. SPECIMENS:: Three temporal bones were extracted from cadaveric human heads for use with small-bore UHF-MRI. INTERVENTION:: Ex vivo cadaveric temporal bone specimens were imaged using an 11.7?T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner via T1- and T2-weighted-imaging with and without contrast. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:: Qualitative visualization of membranous components of the inner ear compared with reports of UHF-MRI at lower field strengths. RESULTS:: The membranous anatomy of the inner ear was superbly visualized at 11.7?T. In the cochlea, Reissnerʼs membrane, the scala media, and the basilar membrane were clearly shown on the scan. In the vestibular labyrinth, the wedge-shaped crista ampullaris and the maculae of both the saccule and utricle were visible. Details of the endolymphatic sac and duct were also demonstrated. CONCLUSION:: To our knowledge, this report presents the first images of the ex vivo human inner ear using 11.7?T UHF-MRI, offering near-histologic resolution. Increased field strength may be particularly useful when imaging the delicate membranous anatomy of the inner ear. Further research on the use of UHF-MRI in clinical and research settings could illuminate structural changes associated with inner ear disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOtology and Neurotology
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 12 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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