Investig Magn Reson Imaging.  2020 Mar;24(1):38-45. 10.13104/imri.2020.24.1.38.

Diagnostic Value of SusceptibilityWeighted MRI in Differentiating Cerebellopontine Angle Schwannoma from Meningioma

  • 1Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


Differentiation of cerebellopontine angle (CPA) schwannoma from meningioma is often a difficult process to identify. Purpose: To identify imaging features for distinguishing CPA schwannoma from meningioma and to investigate the usefulness of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) in differentiating them.
Materials and Methods
Between March 2010 and January 2015, this study pathologically confirmed 11 meningiomas and 20 schwannomas involving CPA with preoperative SWI were retrospectively reviewed. Generally, the following MRI features were evaluated: 1) maximal diameter on axial image, 2) angle between tumor border and adjacent petrous bone, 3) presence of intratumoral dark signal intensity on SWI, 4) tumor consistency, 5) blood-fluid level, 6) involvement of internal auditory canal (IAC), 7) dural tail, and 8) involvement of adjacent intracranial space. On CT, 1) presence of dilatation of IAC, 2) intratumoral calcification, and 3) adjacent hyperostosis were evaluated. All features were compared using Chi-squared tests and Fisher’s exact tests. The univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed to identify imaging features that differentiate both tumors.
The results noted that schwannomas more frequently demonstrated dark spots on SWI (P = 0.025), cystic consistency (P = 0.034), and globular angle (P = 0.008); schwannomas showed more dilatation of internal auditory meatus and lack of calcification (P = 0.008 and P = 0.02, respectively). However, it was shown that dural tail was more common in meningiomas (P < 0.007). In general, dark spots on SWI and dural tail remained significant in multivariate analysis (P = 0.037 and P = 0.012, respectively). In this case, the combination of two features showed a sensitivity and specificity of 80% and 100% respectively, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.9.
In conclusion, dark spots on SWI were found to be helpful in differentiating CPA schwannoma from meningioma. It is noted that combining dural tail with dark spots on SWI yielded strong diagnostic value in differentiating both tumors.


Meningioma; Vestibular schwannoma; Susceptibility-weighted imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging; Cerebellopontine angle tumors
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