MRI of the IAC (Internal Auditory Canal)
Ordered in patients with hearing loss or vertigo. The two main categories of hearing loss are conductive and sensorineural. For the former, CT is the modality of choice. This will nicely assess the ossicular chain, as well as other conductive abnormalities in the external and middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is better evaluated with MRI, which can detect masses in the nerves responsible for hearing and balance. Along the same lines, MRI is helpful in the evaluation of dizziness and balance abnormalities, as the nerves responsible for hearing and balance run very close to each other.