Is Presence of Vascular Loop in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Always Related to Tinnitus?

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One of the most common otological complaints is tinnitus in adults. When there is a complaint of unilateral tinnitus and retrocochlear pathology is suspected, imaging methods are applied. However, the imaging findings obtained may not always be compatible with the severity and localization of the tinnitus.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not there was a significant correlation between the findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the presence and severity of tinnitus in patients with the complaint of unilateral tinnitus.


The study included 44 patients with no loss of hearing who presented with the complaint of unilateral tinnitus. The relationship between tinnitus severity and vascular loop presence was investigated.


Various types of vascular loop were determined in 14 patients. No statistically significant relationship was determined between the presence of vascular loop and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores.


The results of this study showed no significant difference in respect of the presence of vascular loop on the MRI findings of symptomatic and healthy ears. The presence of vascular loop on MRI is not always a pathological event and should be considered only as an examination finding that could be an anatomic variation.

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