Patterns of Signal Intensity in CISS MRI of the Inner Ear and Eye

Antonia Mair, Christopher I Song, Bela Büki, Bryan K Ward

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


BACKGROUND: Constructive interference in steady state (CISS) is a gradient echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pulse sequence that provides excellent contrast between cerebrospinal fluid and adjacent structures but is prone to banding artifacts due to magnetic field inhomogeneities. We aimed to characterize artifacts in the inner ear and eye.

METHODS: In 30 patients (60 ears/eyes) undergoing CISS sequence MRI, nine low-signal intensity regions were identified in the inner ear and compared to temporal bone histopathology. The number and angle of bands across the eye were examined.

RESULTS: In the cochlea, all ears had regions of low signal corresponding to anatomy (modiolus (all), spiral lamina (n = 59, 98.3%), and interscalar septa (n = 50, 83.3%)). In the labyrinth, the lateral semicircular canal crista (n = 42, 70%) and utricular macula (n = 47, 78.3%) were seen. Areas of low signal in the vestibule seen in all ears may represent the walls of the membranous utricle. Zero to three banding artifacts were seen in both eyes (right: 96.7%, mean 1.5; left: 93.3%, mean 1.3).

CONCLUSION: Low signal regions in the inner ear on CISS sequences are common and have consistent patterns; most in the inner ear represent anatomy, appearing blurred due to partial volume averaging. Banding artifacts in the eye are more variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2024


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