PURPOSE: To review the anatomy of the hypoglossal canal and present the normal precontrast and postcontrast MR appearance of axial posterior fossa images. METHODS: Thirty-one axial MR examinations of the normal posterior fossa were retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: The hypoglossal canals are well seen on 3-mm-thick axial MR images of the posterior fossa (28 [90%] of 31 patients). Symmetric intense intracanalicular enhancement after intravenous administration of gadopentetate dimeglumine is routine, typically with minor anterior extension into the nasopharyngeal region (28 [100%] of 28). A linear filling defect traversing the enhanced canal often is seen (21 [75%] of 28) and may represent hypoglossal nerve rootlets. Circumferential enhancement of the meninges at the level of the foramen magnum was a common finding (19 [64%] of 28). CONCLUSION: Enhancement within the hypoglossal canal with anterior extension beneath the skull base is a normal finding. This pattern is characteristic enough on MR imaging to aid interpretation of skull base lesions and to exclude the possibility of a mass within the hypoglossal canal.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||American Journal of Neuroradiology|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1995|
- Posterior fossa, magnetic resonance
- Skull, anatomy