Cranial nerve disease outside the skull base is a common cause of facial and/or neck pain, which causes significant disability for patients and frustration for clinicians. Neuropathy in this region can be traumatic, idiopathic, or iatrogenic secondary to dental and surgical procedures. MR neurography is a modification of conventional MRI techniques dedicated to evaluation of peripheral nerves and is being increasingly used for imaging of peripheral neuropathies at various sites in the body. MR neurography facilitates assessment of different causes of craniofacial pain and cranial nerves and allows elegant depiction of a multitude of regional neuropathies. This article discusses the anatomy, pathologic conditions, and imaging findings of the commonly implicated but difficult to image infratentorial nerves, such as the peripheral trigeminal nerve and its branches, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, vagus nerve, hypoglossal nerve, and greater and lesser occipital nerves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging