Tolosa-Hunt syndrome: MRI appearances

R. Jain*, S. Sawhney, R. L. Koul, P. Chand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


A review of MRI findings in seven patients with Tolosa-Hunt syndrome was carried out. Seven patients presented with unilateral painful ophthalmoplegia. Magnetic resonance imaging studies were carried out to evaluate the cavernous sinuses and orbits. Coronal fast spin-echo T2-weighted images and fat-saturated T1-weighted coronal and transverse images with and without contrast enhancement were obtained for the cavernous sinuses and orbits. All patients showed focal-enhancing masses expanding the ipsilateral cavernous sinus. In one patient the mass was extending to the orbital apex and intraorbitally. All patients recovered on corticosteroid therapy and resolution of the masses was documented on follow-up MRI studies in five patients. One patient had a relapse of symptoms after discontinuing therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging studies of the cavernous sinus and orbital apex show high sensitivity for the detection and follow up of inflammatory mass lesions in Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging should be the initial screening study in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Cavernous sinus
  • Cranial
  • MRI
  • Nerve
  • Orbit
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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