Purpose of review: Identification of the underlying cause of pulsatile tinnitus is important for treatment decision making and for prognosis estimation. For this, an adequate diagnostic imaging strategy is crucial.
Recent findings: Both CT and MRI can be useful, and in general, these modalities provide complementary diagnostic information. The scanning protocol can be optimized based on the estimated a priori chance for finding specific pathology, or the need to rule out more rare but clinical significant disease. In recent years, dynamic CTA, also referred to as 4D-CTA, has become available as a new technique that enables non-invasive evaluation of hemodynamics for the detection, classification, and follow-up of vascular malformations.
Summary: The value of different diagnostic imaging modalities in the work-up of pulsatile tinnitus is discussed in relation to the differential diagnosis. Furthermore, imaging findings of different diseases are presented, both for CT and MRI.
Keywords: Angiography; MRI; Multi-detector CT; Pulsatile Tinnitus.
Conflict of interest statement
Conflict of interest
Sjoert A.H. Pegge, Stefan C.A. Steens, Henricus P.M. Kunst, and Frederick J.A. Meijer each declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Diagnostic Utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Angiography in the Radiological Evaluation of Pulsatile TinnitusM Shweel et al. Am J Otolaryngol 34 (6), 710-7. PMID 24041839.MRI/MRA was an effective radiological imaging method in detecting the underlying pathology of pulsatile tinnitus. Magnetic resonance may be considered a first line diagno …
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Pulsatile Tinnitus: Imaging and Differential DiagnosisE Hofmann et al. Dtsch Arztebl Int 110 (26), 451-8. PMID 23885280. - ReviewThe clinical findings and imaging studies must always be evaluated together. Thorough history-taking and clinical examination are the basis for the efficient use of imagi …
Imaging of Tinnitus: A ReviewJL Weissman et al. Radiology 216 (2), 342-9. PMID 10924551. - ReviewTinnitus, a buzzing or ringing in the ear, may be pulsatile or continuous (nonpulsatile). The distinction, with a detailed clinical evaluation, determines the most approp …
Cited by 2 PubMed Central articles
A Multidisciplinary European Guideline for Tinnitus: Diagnostics, Assessment, and TreatmentRFF Cima et al. HNO 67 (Suppl 1), 10-42. PMID 30847513.
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