Original article| Volume 31, ISSUE 2, P102-108, March 2007

Download started.


Imaging of pulsatile tinnitus: a review of 74 patients



      Our aim was to assess the effectiveness of imaging modalities in detecting the underlying pathologies in patients with pulsatile tinnitus.

      Materials and Methods

      Seventy-four patients with pulsatile tinnitus were radiologically evaluated. All patients except two are evaluated on a thin-section bone algorithm computed tomography scan covering the temporal bone and skull base, 14 patients with or without contrast-enhanced brain computed tomography, 7 patients with magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance angiography, 5 patients with digital subtraction angiography, and 12 patients with Doppler ultrasonography.


      The underlying pathology of tinnitus was detected in 50 patients (67.6%), and 24 patients were normal with radiologic studies. The most common cause was high jugular bulbus (21%) followed by atherosclerosis, dehiscent jugular bulbus, aneurysm of internal carotid artery, dural arteriovenous fistula, aberrant internal carotid artery, jugular diverticulum, and glomus tumor.


      It was concluded that radiologic imaging methods are effective in detecting the underlying pathology of pulsatile tinnitus.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Clinical Imaging
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Weissman JL
        • Hirsch BE
        Imaging of tinnitus: a review.
        Radiology. 2000; 216: 342-349
        • Luxon LM
        Tinnitus: its causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
        BMJ. 1993; 306: 1490-1491
        • Hasso AN
        Imaging of pulsatile tinnitus: basic examination package.
        AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1994; 15: 890-892
        • Marsot-Dupuch K
        Pulsatile and nonpulsatile tinnitus: a systemic approach.
        Semin Ultrasound CT MRI. 2001; 22: 250-270
        • Dietz RR
        • Davis WL
        • Harnsberger HR
        • Jacobs JM
        • Blatter DD
        MR imaging and MR angiography in the evaluation of pulsatile tinnitus.
        AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1994; 15: 879-889
        • Patradoon-Ho P
        • Gunasekera H
        • Ryan MM
        • Ambler GR
        Inhaled corticosteroids, adrenal suppression and benign intracranial hypertension.
        Med J Aust. 2006; 185: 279-280
        • Foyt D
        • Carfrae MJ
        • Rapoport R
        Fibromuscular dysplasia of the internal carotid artery causing pulsatile tinnitus.
        Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006; 134: 701-702
        • Sismanis A
        • Stamm MA
        • Sobel M
        Objective tinnitus in patients with atherosclerotic corotid artery disease.
        Am J Otol. 1994; 15: 404-407
        • Roy D
        • Lavingne F
        • Raymond J
        Pulsatile tinnitus and dural arteriovenous fistula of the transverse sinus.
        J Otolaryngol. 1993; 22: 409-412
        • Prestigiacomo CJ
        • Niimi Y
        • Setton A
        • Berenstein A
        Three-dimensional rotational spinal angiography in the evaluation and treatment of vascular malformations.
        AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2003; 24: 1429-1435
        • Weissman JL
        Hearing loss.
        Radiology. 1996; 199: 593-611
        • Lo WWM
        • Solti-Bohman LG
        • McELveen JT
        Aberrant carotid artery; radiologic diagnosis with emphasis on high-resolution computed tomography.
        RadioGraphics. 1985; 5: 985-993
        • Barrow DL
        • Spector RH
        • Braun IF
        • Landman JA
        • Tindall SC
        • Tindall GT
        Classification and treatment of spontaneous carotid-cavernous sinus fistulas.
        J Neurosurg. 1985; 62: 248-256
        • Wadin K
        • Wilbrand H
        The jugular bulb diverticulum.
        Acta Radiol Diagn. 1986; 27: 395-401
        • Hourani R
        • Carey J
        • Yousem DM
        Dehiscence of the jugular bulb and vestibular aqueduct: findings on 200 consecutive temporal bone computed tomography scans.
        J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2005; 29: 657-662
        • Koesling S
        • Kunkel P
        • Schul T
        Vascular anomalies, sutures and small canals of the temporal bone on axial CT.
        Eur J Radiol. 2005; 54: 335-343
        • Weissman JL
        • Hirsch BE
        Beyond the promontory; the mutifocal origin of glomus tympanicum tumors.
        AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1998; 19: 119-122
        • Pospiech L
        • Orendorz-Fraczkowska K
        • Gawron W
        Chemodectoma: tympanic tumor.
        Otolaryngol Pol. 2000; 54: 112-114
        • Olsen WL
        • Dillon WP
        • Kelly WM
        • Norman D
        • Brant-Zawadzki M
        • Newton TH
        MR imaging of paragangliomas.
        AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1986; 7: 1039-1042
        • Darwish B
        • Boet R
        • Finnis N
        • Smith N
        Third ventricular cavernous haemangioma.
        J Clin Neurosci. 2005; 12: 601-603