High-Resolution CT Imaging of the Temporal Bone: A Cadaveric Specimen Study

Nancy Pham, Osama Raslan, Edward B. Strong, John Boone, Arthur Dublin, Shuai Chen, Lotfi Hacein-Bey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Super-high and ultra-high spatial resolution computed tomography (CT) imaging can be advantageous for detecting temporal bone pathology and guiding treatment strategies. Methods Six temporal bone cadaveric specimens were used to evaluate the temporal bone microanatomic structures utilizing the following CT reconstruction modes: normal resolution (NR, 0.5-mm slice thickness, 512 2 matrix), high resolution (HR, 0.5-mm slice thickness, 1,024 2 matrix), super-high resolution (SHR, 0.25-mm slice thickness, 1,024 2 matrix), and ultra-high resolution (UHR, 0.25-mm slice thickness, 2,048 2 matrix). Noise and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for bone and air were measured at each reconstruction mode. Two observers assessed visualization of seven small anatomic structures using a 4-point scale at each reconstruction mode. Results Noise was significantly higher and SNR significantly lower with increases in spatial resolution (NR, HR, and SHR). There was no statistical difference between SHR and UHR imaging with regard to noise and SNR. There was significantly improved visibility of all temporal bone osseous structures of interest with SHR and UHR imaging relative to NR imaging (p < 0.001) and most of the temporal bone osseous structures relative to HR imaging. There was no statistical difference in the subjective image quality between SHR and UHR imaging of the temporal bone (p ≥ 0.085). Conclusion Super-high-resolution and ultra-high-resolution CT imaging results in significant improvement in image quality compared with normal-resolution and high-resolution CT imaging of the temporal bone. This preliminary study also demonstrates equivalency between super-high and ultra-high spatial resolution temporal bone CT imaging protocols for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • CT
  • super-high resolution
  • temporal bone
  • ultra-high resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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