Spectrum of clinical and associated MR imaging findings in children with olfactory anomalies

T. N. Booth, N. K. Rollins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The olfactory apparatus, consisting of the bulb and tract, is readily identifiable on MR imaging. Anomalous development of the olfactory apparatus may be the harbinger of anomalies of the secondary olfactory cortex and associated structures. We report a large single-site series of associated MR imaging findings in patients with olfactory anomalies. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective search of radiologic reports (2010 through 2014) was performed by using the keyword "olfactory";MRimaging studies were reviewed for olfactory anomalies and intracranial and skull base malformations. Medical records were reviewed for clinical symptoms, neuroendocrine dysfunction, syndromic associations, and genetics. RESULTS: We identified 41 patients with olfactory anomalies (range, 0.03-18 years of age; M/F ratio, 19:22); olfactory anomalies were bilateral in 31 of 41 patients (76%) and absent olfactory bulbs and olfactory tracts were found in 56 of 82 (68%). Developmental delay was found in 24 (59%), and seizures, in 14 (34%). Pituitary dysfunction was present in 14 (34%), 8 had panhypopituitarism, and 2 had isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. CNS anomalies, seen in 95% of patients, included hippocampal dysplasia in 26, cortical malformations in 15, malformed corpus callosum in 10, and optic pathway hypoplasia in 12. Infratentorial anomalies were seen in 15 (37%) patients and included an abnormal brain stem in 9 and an abnormal cerebellum in 3. Four patients had an abnormal membranous labyrinth. Genetic testing was performed in 23 (56%) and findings were abnormal in 11 (48%). CONCLUSIONS: Olfactory anomalies should prompt careful screening of the brain, skull base, and the pituitary gland for additional anomalies. Genetic testing should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1548
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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