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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 217--219

Incidentally detected bilateral petrous apex cephaloceles: CT and MRI features

Arzu Canan, Kamil Çıra, Özgür Özbilek, Koray Koç, Cihat Aksoy 
 Clinic of Radiology, Antalya Ataturk State Hospital, Antalya, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arzu Canan
Clinic of Radiology, Antalya Ataturk State Hospital, Antalya

How to cite this article:
Canan A, Çıra K, Özbilek &, Koç K, Aksoy C. Incidentally detected bilateral petrous apex cephaloceles: CT and MRI features.Neurol India 2017;65:217-219

How to cite this URL:
Canan A, Çıra K, Özbilek &, Koç K, Aksoy C. Incidentally detected bilateral petrous apex cephaloceles: CT and MRI features. Neurol India [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 20 ];65:217-219
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Full Text


A 61-year-old woman was referred to our service with complaint of tinnitus on the left side. Neurological examination showed no significant abnormality. High-resolution temporal bone computed tomography (CT) in the axial and coronal planes with a slice thickness of 1 mm and a bone algorithm was performed. CT images showed bilateral smoothly marginated expansile lesions, which caused adjacent bone scalloping, especially on the right side [Figure 1]a. The right lesion was larger and more expansile than the left. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, including axial T1 [Figure 1]b, T2 [Figure 1]c, and coronal T2 [Figure 2] images demonstrated cystic lesions located in bilateral Meckel's cave and extending into the petrous apex. The lesions had a similar signal intensity with cerebrospinal fluid on all sequences. There was no contrast enhancement. According to MRI findings, the lesions were diagnosed as bilateral petrous apex cephaloceles (PAC).{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

PAC are uncommon developmental lesions of the petrous apex. They herniate from the posterolateral portion of the Meckel's cave into the petrous apex and erode the adjacent temporal bone. Pathologically, they are considered to be meningoceles and arachnoid cysts.[1] However, there are a few case reports in the literature which described symptoms of headache, hearing loss, otorrhoea, or pulsatile tinnitus due to PACs.[2] They are usually asymptomatic and can be unilateral or bilateral. These are detected incidentally by CT or MRI, and hence are considered “leave alone” lesions.[3],[4] Differential diagnosis includes other cystic lesions of the petrous apex such as a cholesteatoma, cholesterol granuloma, mucocele, apical petrositis, and petrous apex effusion. Misdiagnosis may cause unnecessary investigations and surgical interventions. PACs originate from the Meckel's cave, and it is this unique distinctive radiological feature that enables the establishment of the correct diagnosis.[1] Hence, the radiologist should be familiar with the distinctive radiological findings of PACs to differentiate them from other cystic petrous apex lesions and to avoid further investigations and surgery.

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