Johann Le Floc'h1, Beau Pontr2, Winston Tan1, Srdjan M. Vlajkovic1, Peter R. Thorne1
Inner ear inflammation is thought to be a major contributor to the development of hearing loss and balance disorders. We report the results of the in vivo characterization of cochlear tissues inflammation induced by noise exposure or injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide in two rodent species. The anaesthetized animals were scanned using a 4.7T MRI system. The calculated signal enhancement due to the observed uptake of a contrast agent was greater on inflamed than normal cochleae. MR findings correlated well with immunohistochemistry. We suggest that increase in gadodiamide uptake occurred as a consequence of increased vascular permeability.