ARRS 2022 Abstracts

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E1045. Conventional and Functional Neuroimaging of Tinnitus
Authors
  1. Triet Do; Department of Radiology, Tulane University School of Medicine
  2. Amy Yu; Department of Radiology, Tulane University School of Medicine
  3. Mandy Weidenhaft; Department of Radiology, Tulane University School of Medicine
  4. Jeremy Nguyen; Department of Radiology, Tulane University School of Medicine
  5. Enrique Palacios; Department of Radiology, Tulane University School of Medicine
Background
Tinnitus is a highly prevalent and potentially distressing condition that occurs due to abnormalities within the auditory system. Initial management includes assessment of clinical presentation such as laterality, pulsatile character, or any associated neurologic symptoms as well as imaging evaluation for vascular, neoplastic, or structural abnormalities. Advances in electrophysiologic techniques and functional neuroimaging can facilitate further understanding of subjective tinnitus that do not appear to have clear extracranial or intracranial causes.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
The goals of this exhibit are to describe pathophysiology and common etiologies of tinnitus, along with associated findings on conventional neuroimaging, review important developments in functional neuroimaging of tinnitus, and discuss future directions.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Common causes include hearing loss, infection, and traumatic injury, but these can vary and are often of unknown etiology. Tinnitus can be classified as objective, when it is perceived from an identifiable cause within the intracranial structures, or subjective, when it is perceived without an internal or external source. We will review key imaging findings for common causes of objective tinnitus on CT, MRI, and angiography studies. Additionally, we will evaluate important developments in functional MRI, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, diffusion tensor imaging, and electroencephalogram studies in characterizing subjective tinnitus and discuss future applications.

Conclusion
Tinnitus can drastically impact a patient’s quality of life and psychological well-being, but the precise pathogenesis remains unclear, making management of the condition difficult. Further studies with usage of multiple functional imaging modalities are needed to distinguish whether subjective tinnitus is caused by abnormalities within the auditory system or stems from non-auditory etiology.