[Depiction of the cranial nerves around the cavernous sinus by 3D reversed FISP with diffusion weighted imaging (3D PSIF-DWI)].
ABSTRACT To evaluate the anatomy of cranial nerves running in and around the cavernous sinus, we employed three-dimensional reversed fast imaging with steady-state precession (FISP) with diffusion weighted imaging (3D PSIF-DWI) on 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) system. After determining the proper parameters to obtain sufficient resolution of 3D PSIF-DWI, we collected imaging data of 20-side cavernous regions in 10 normal subjects. 3D PSIF-DWI provided high contrast between the cranial nerves and other soft tissues, fluid, and blood in all subjects. We also created volume-rendered images of 3D PSIF-DWI and anatomically evaluated the reliability of visualizing optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, and abducens nerves on 3D PSIF-DWI. All 20 sets of cranial nerves were visualized and 12 trochlear nerves and 6 abducens nerves were partially identified. We also presented preliminary clinical experiences in two cases with pituitary adenomas. The anatomical relationship between the tumor and cranial nerves running in and around the cavernous sinus could be three-dimensionally comprehended by 3D PSIF-DWI and the volume-rendered images. In conclusion, 3D PSIF-DWI has great potential to provide high resolution "cranial nerve imaging", which visualizes the whole length of the cranial nerves including the parts in the blood flow as in the cavernous sinus region.