Venous Causes of Pulsatile Tinnitus: Clinical Presentation, Clinical and Radiographic Evaluation, Pathogenesis, and Endovascular Treatments: A Literature Review

Muhammed Amir Essibayi, Soliman H. Oushy, Giuseppe Lanzino, Waleed Brinjikji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tinnitus is an abnormal perception of a sound without external stimulation. Venous pulsatile tinnitus (VPT) is a specific form of tinnitus characterized by an objective and often subjective bruit that occurs as a result of localized venous abnormalities. Clinical evaluation relies on sound quality, duration, and precipitating factors. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) and transverse sinus stenosis (TSS) are among the most common causes of VPT. Other causes include sigmoid sinus wall abnormalities (SSWAs), jugular vein anomalies (JVAs), and emissary veins anomalies. These anomalies can be detected on magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance angiography/magnetic resonance venography, and high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography. The pathogenesis behind the VPT includes turbulent blood flow as a result of luminal stenosis or abnormal dilation, amplification of internal sound due to temporal bone defects, and abnormal position of the venous sinus system structures adjacent to the bony structures of the auditive apparatus. Based on these theories, different interventional treatment modalities can be applied to treat the underlying causes. Endovascular treatments have shown high efficacy and safety among those treatments which include stenting of the lateral sinus stenosis in IIH and TSS, coiling of the SSWA and JVA, and embolization of emissary veins anomalies. Further studies are needed to understand the natural history of these anomalies and the efficacy of treatments of VPT, which-unlike other types of tinnitus-can be cured with proper treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-768
Number of pages9
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume89
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2021

Keywords

  • Endovascular treatment
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Lateral sinus stenosis
  • Venous pulsatile tinnitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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