Inner ear disorder

Using advanced X-ray technology to fight Ménière's disease

The organ of balance in the inner ear is surrounded by the hardest bone in the body. Using synchrotron X-rays, researchers at Uppsala University have discovered a drainage system that may be assumed to play a major role in the onset of Ménière's disease, a common and troublesome disorder.

The results are published in the journal Scientific Reports

Ménière's disease is manifested in sudden onset of severe dizziness (vertigo) attacks, hearing impairment and tinnitus. Accumulation of excess fluid in the inner ear is thought to cause the disorder, from which approximately an estimated 30,000 people in Sweden suffer.

Photo
A synchrotron X-ray of the balance organ of the human inner ear shows a kidney-shaped canal with a diameter of just approx. 0.5 mm. The inner ear has been reconstructed three-dimensionally in a computer program, and the surrounding bone has been made transparent. The green-coloured vessels surrounding the canal are thought to absorb and clean the fluid in the inner ear. It is believed that disruption of this function may cause Ménière's disease.

Image source: Uppsala University

The researchers behind the new scientific article have investigated the organs in the human inner ear, which are very difficult to study. This part of the ear is enclosed by the body’s hardest bone. Using synchrotron X-ray imaging, an advanced and powerful form of computer tomography (CT), the scientists were able to study the organ of balance with its surrounding blood vessels. Since the technology generates energy too high for use on living humans, donors’ temporal bones were used.

The images of the inner ear were reconstructed to make a three-dimensional model in the software, Inside the hard bone, the researchers discovered a drainage system that is thought to explain how the fluid in the inner ear is absorbed. This discovery may bring about an improved understanding of how and why Ménière's disease arises.


Source: Uppsala University

22.05.2020

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Goodbye to grayscale

Dual Energy CT – seeing x-rays with colors

Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most important imaging options for the diagnostics of patients. For a long time, in clinical routine CT technology mostly showed the Hounsfield Units (HU) that…

Photo

What radiologists need to know

How lung disorders like COVID-19 affect children

Although the clinical symptoms of new pediatric lung disorders such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), swine-origin influenza A (H1N1), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), e-cigarette…

Photo

Chest X-ray, CT and more

Imaging the coronavirus disease COVID-19

Chest X-ray is the first imaging method to diagnose COVID-19 coronavirus infection in Spain, but in the light of new evidence this may change soon, according to Milagros Martí de Gracia, Vice…

Related products

MinFound – ScintCare Blue Series

20 to 64 Slices

MinFound – ScintCare Blue Series

MinFound Medical Systems Co., Ltd
MinFound – ScintCare CT128

Volume CT

MinFound – ScintCare CT128

MinFound Medical Systems Co., Ltd
MinFound – ScintCare CT16

2 to 16 Slices

MinFound – ScintCare CT16

MinFound Medical Systems Co., Ltd
AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

Mammo CT

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT GmbH
AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

Mammo CT

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT – nu:view

AB-CT – Advanced Breast-CT GmbH