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Abstract #2291

Diffusion tensor imaging of the auditory nerve in patients with long-term single-sided deafness

Sjoerd B Vos 1,2 , Wieke Haakma 3,4 , Huib Versnel 1 , Martijn Froeling 3 , Lucienne Speleman 1 , Pieter Dik 5 , Max A Viergever 2 , Alexander Leemans 2 , and Wilko Grolman 1

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2 Image Sciences Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3 Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 4 Department of Forensic Medicine & Comparative Medicine Lab, Aarhus University, Denmark, 5 Department of Pediatric Urology, University Children's Hospital UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

The viability of the auditory nerve in deaf patients is critical in hearing recovery after cochlear implantation (CI). The nerve degenerates following cochlear hair cell loss and the amount of degeneration varies between ears. DTI may yield a measure of nerve degeneration by allowing noninvasive estimates of the nerves microstructure. We show the first use of DTI to image the auditory nerve using a specialized acquisition protocol on a clinical 3T scanner. Our results show a bilateral decrease in FA in unilaterally deaf patients compared to normal-hearing controls. No differences were observed between the deaf and healthy-sided nerves in patients.

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