What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Sombat Muengtaweepongsa, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Structural lesions can be ruled out by CT scan, MRI, or magnetic resonance (MR) angiography.

Gadolinium enhancement of the vestibular and facial nerves on MRI has been described in Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

Recent advances in clinical MRI images (eg, 3-Tesla MRI, multichannel phased array coil, 3-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery [3D-FLAIR]) allow the evaluation of subtle alterations at the level of the blood-labyrinthine barrier. [17]  Precontrast hyperintesity and postcontrast enhancement 3D-FLAIR in facial nerve, vestibulococlea nerve and inner ear are correlated with clinical presentation. [18]

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be clinically useful in gaining additional information about the prognostic status of the facial nerve. [19]


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