Background Cranial neuropathies are a spectrum of disorders associated with dysfunction of one or more of the twelve cranial nerves and the subsequent anatomic structures they innervate. Objective The purpose of this article is to review radiographic imaging findings of end-organ aberrations secondary to cranial neuropathies. Method All articles related to cranial neuropathies were retrieved through the PubMed MEDLINE NCBI database from January 1, 1991 to August 31, 2014. These manuscripts were analyzed for their relation to cranial nerve end-organ disease pathogenesis and radiographic imaging. Results The present review reveals detectable end-organ changes on CT and/or MRI for the following cranial nerves: olfactory nerve, optic nerve, oculomotor nerve, trochlear nerve, trigeminal nerve, abducens nerve, facial nerve, vestibulocochlear nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, vagus nerve, accessory nerve, and hypoglossal nerve. Conclusion Radiographic imaging can assist in the detailed evaluation of end-organ involvement, often revealing a corresponding cranial nerve injury with high sensitivity and diagnostic accuracy. A thorough understanding of the distal manifestations of cranial nerve disease can optimize early pathologic detection as well as dictate further clinical management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging