Journal of Hong Kong College of Radiologists

Volume 6 Number 1, 2003
Abstract

The Prevalence of Vascular Impingement of the Trigeminal, Facial, and Vestibulocochlear Nerves in Healthy Volunteers

SS Lingawi
Department of Radiology, The University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Aim: To determine the prevalence of vascular impingement of the trigeminal, facial, and vestibulocochlear nerves in a healthy population.
Subjects and Methods: The trigeminal, facial, and vestibulocochlear nerves of 90 asymptomatic volunteers were assessed for the presence or absence of vessels abutting or displacing these nerves. The studies were performed on a 1.0-T magnet using a circular polarised head coil. Axial T2-weighted images, 3-dimensional constructive interference in steady state (TR/TE=12.3/5.9), through the brainstem were obtained at 0.7 mm intervals with a matrix of 192 x 512 and a 25 x 16 field of view.
Results: Forty two of 540 nerves (8%) showed evidence of impingement, 108 of 540 nerves (20%) showed evidence of abutment, and 390 of 540 nerves (72%) were normal. Among the 42 impinged nerves, 38 (90.5%) were facial/vestibulocochlear complex; 4 (9.5%) were trigeminal, and 1 (2.0%) had all 3 nerves impinged. No bilateral impingements were detected. Of the 108 volunteers with vascular abutment of the nerves, 101 nerves (93.5%) were facial/vestibulocochlear complex; 7 (6.5%) were trigeminal, and 3 (2.7%) had abutment of all 3 vessels.
Conclusion: Vascular impingement of the trigeminal, facial, and vestibulocochlear nerves is frequently seen in the healthy population. (J HK Coll Radiol 2003;6:20-24)

Key Words: Cranial nerve diseases, Magnetic resonance imaging


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