A recently published study that evaluated pulsatile tinnitus cases from 2002-2013, reports a comprehensive presentation
of the complex nature of our cases and the tests that doctors should consider to investigate the underlying cause of pulsatile
Have you seen a doctor who has told you that you have to "live with" pulsatile tinnitus before ordering
a series of diagnostic tests? Maybe it's time to show them these reports, written by their colleagues: doctors familiar with
In pulsatile tinnitus cases, there are usually no easy answers, no specific "go-to" test
that will rule everything out, no direct checklist of tests for "proper' evaluation.
Is it easy to determine
the cause? Usually not. Should each PT patient learn to "live with it," as we're often told, before a single diagnostic
test? Absolutely not.
As the report indicates, "The role of the radiologist is to identify all treatable causes of PT. It is
necessary to be aware
of the pertinent imaging findings and potential
imaging pitfalls of the common etiologies of PT."
Another report, written a couple of years ago but similar in its recommendations for thorough evaluation and testing, states, "In patients
with PT however, imaging may be positive in up to
57- 100 % of patients though about 20-30% of these patients have 'normal
The more medical professionals appreciate the complexities of
our cases, the closer we all get to proper evaluation of the symptom. And in more and more cases, the closer we get to a diagnosis,
treatment -- and silence!
Special thanks to the reader who gave me the heads up about these reports!
"Imaging in Pulsatile Tinnitus: Diagnostic Pearls and Potential
Pitfalls," B. S. Purohit, R. Hermans, K. Op
de beeck; 1SINGAPORE/SG,
2Leuven/BE, European Society of Radiology, 2014.
"Imaging In Pulsatile Tinnitus : When Should It Ring A Bell?" G. Bathla1, V. Chong; 1singapore/SG, 2Singapore/SG,
European Society of Radiology, 2012.