Thursday, June 11, 2020

Accuracy of MR imaging for detection of sensorineural hearing loss in infants with bacterial meningitis

G. Orman, M.K. Kukreja, J.G. Vallejo, N. Desai, T.A.G.M. Huisman and S.F. Kralik. Accuracy of MR Imaging for Detection of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Infants with Bacterial Meningitis
American Journal of Neuroradiology June 2020, 41 (6) 1081-1086; DOI:


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Bacterial meningitis most commonly affects young children and can result in critical adverse outcomes, including sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). The purpose of this study is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of MR imaging for predicting the development of SNHL among infants with bacterial meningitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review was performed among infants (age <365?days) with bacterial meningitis (n?=?115). Independent and consensus blinded review of brain MRIs (n?=?239) performed less than 90?days from presentation were conducted. Abnormal appearance of the inner ear was defined as enhancement on postcontrast T1-weighted (T1-weighted+C) sequence and FLAIR hyperintensity. The consensus MR imaging appearance of the inner ear on FLAIR, T1-weighted+C, and combined evaluation was compared with criterion standard audiometric testing to determine the sensitivity and specificity of MR imaging for detecting SNHL.

RESULTS: The mean age at diagnosis of bacterial meningitis was 50.6?days (range, 0–338?days) and 24.3% had SNHL. Sensitivity and specificity was 0.61/0.96, 0.50/0.94, and 0.61/0.94 for T1-weighted+C, FLAIR hyperintensity, and combined evaluation, respectively, for prediction of SNHL. There was excellent interobserver agreement for both the T1-weighted+C and FLAIR sequences and combined evaluation for presence of abnormal enhancement and hyperintense signal, respectively. Factors associated with abnormal MR imaging findings on T1-weighted+C and/or FLAIR in patients with SNHL included low CSF glucose (P?=?.04, .02) and high CSF protein (P?=?.04, .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal enhancement and/or FLAIR hyperintensity of the inner ear demonstrate high specificity and average sensitivity for prediction of SNHL among infants with bacterial meningitis.

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