PULSATILE TINNITUS

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Pulsatile tinnitus is an uncommon symptom that often presents a diagnostic dilemma. Correct diagnosis is imperative because the majority of patients with this symptom have a treatable cause.

REVIEW SUMMARY

The neurologist should be aware of the various etiologies, diagnostic work-up, and management of patients presenting with pulsatile tinnitus. The author's experience with pulsatile tinnitus patients, as well as a literature review of this topic, is presented in this study. A diagnostic algorithm is included, and management of this symptom is detailed.

CONCLUSIONS

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri), glomus tumors, and carotid atherosclerosis are the most common etiologies of pulsatile tinnitus. Treatment should be individualized and is effective in the majority of these patients.

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