Three patients with high-intensity MR signals from one petrous apex, but nonpathologic fine-cut computed tomography are reported. In two of the three patients, normal bone marrow within the petrous apex on one side is believed to have generated the high-intensity signal. In one of the three patients, the etiology of the MR image remains obscure, but may represent the earliest stages of petrous cholesterol granuloma or mucocele. We have reviewed 500 head CT scans performed for non-otologic reasons, in an attempt to establish the frequency of this finding. The literature on MR and CT imaging of the petrous apex and asymmetric pneumatization of the petrous apex is reviewed.
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