Clinicoradiologic characteristics of endolymphatic sac tumors

  • Hongbo Le
  • Huihong Zhang
  • Weijing Tao
  • Lan Lin
  • Jie Li
  • Lin Ma
  • Guobin HongEmail author
  • Xin LouEmail author



Endolymphatic sac tumor (ELST) is a rare, slow-growing, and low-grade malignant tumor arising from the endolymphatic sac in the posterior petrous bone. The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical and radiologic features, and investigate the clinicoradiologic correlation of ELST.


We retrospectively reviewed the clinical, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and pathologic findings of 14 patients with 15 ELSTs.


Patients comprised of eight women and six men with a mean age of 42.3 years at the time of diagnosis and 35.2 years at the time of initial symptoms. The mean interval between initial symptoms and diagnosis was 84.7 months. The most frequent cochleovestibular symptom was hearing loss in 14 patients (100%); other cochleovestibular symptoms were tinnitus in eight patients (57.1%), vertigo in three patients (21.4%), and aural fullness in three patients (21.4%). Ten patients (71.4%) presented with facial paralyses and five patients (14.3%) presented lower cranial nerve deficits. CT findings revealed spiculated, stippled, or reticular high density within the tumors. The lesions involved mastoid cells, vertical facial nerve canal, semicircular canal, cochlea, tympanum, jugular foramen, internal auditory canal, or petrous apex. On the available MRI, all the eight lesions showed patchy and/or speckled hyperintensity on unenhanced T1WI. Five lesions showed flow voids on T2WI and T1WI. Three lesions had blood fluid levels within cysts.


CT and MRI findings of ELSTs are associated with clinical features. Imaging tests should be performed to identify ELSTs early and ensure greater potential for hearing preservation in patients with cochleovestibular symptoms.


Endolymphatic sac tumor Computed tomography Magnetic resonance imaging Petrous bone 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled “Clinicoradiologic Characteristics of Endolymphatic Sac Tumors”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyThe Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen UniversityZhuhaiChina
  2. 2.Food Safety and Health Research Center, School of Public HealthSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyThe Affiliated Huai’an No.1 People’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityHuai’anChina
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyChinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General HospitalBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyDongsheng People’s HospitalErdosChina
  6. 6.Department of PathologyChinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General HospitalBeijingChina

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