E5256. Multimodal Quantitative MRI of the Thalamus in Tinnitus With Different Outcomes After Sound Therapy
  1. Qian Chen; Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University
This study systematically investigated structural and functional alterations in the thalamus and its subregions using multimodal MRI and examined its clinical relevance in patients with tinnitus who had different outcomes after sound therapy (narrowband noise).

Materials and Methods:
In total, 60 patients with persistent tinnitus and 57 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. Based on treatment efficacy, 28 patients were categorized into the effective group and 32 into the ineffective group. Five MRI measurements of the thalamus and its seven subregions, including gray matter volume, fractional anisotropy, fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation, and functional connectivity (FC) were obtained for each participant and compared between the groups.

Patients in both the groups exhibited widespread functional and diffusion abnormalities in the whole thalamus and several subregions, with more obvious changes observed in the effective group. All patients with tinnitus had abnormal FC compared with the HCs. FC differences between the two patient groups were only observed in the striatal network, auditory-related cortex, and the core area of the limbic system. We combined the multimodal quantitative thalamic alterations and used it as an imaging indicator to evaluate prognosis before sound therapy and achieved a sensitivity of 71.9% and a specificity of 85.7%.

Similar patterns of thalamic alterations were identified in tinnitus patients with different outcomes, with more obvious changes observed in the effective group. Our findings support the tinnitus generation hypothesis of frontostriatal gating system dysfunction. A combination of multimodal quantitative thalamic properties may be used as indicators to predict tinnitus prognosis before sound therapy.