BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Tinnitus is a common disorder, and the etiology remains mostly unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the causative effect of the vascular loop and compression of the vestibulocochlear nerve at the cerebellopontine angle in patients with unexplained tinnitus. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was approved by our institutional review board. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Fifty-eight patients with unexplained tinnitus and 44 age- and sex-matched asymptomatic controls were examined with temporal MR imaging. Besides the tinnitus and control groups, a third group was formed by asymptomatic sides of patients with unilateral tinnitus. A 3D fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (3D-FIESTA) sequence was performed in addition to the regular pre- and postcontrast axial and coronal sequences. The anatomic type of vascular loop, the vascular contact, and the angulation of the vestibulocochlear nerve at the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) were evaluated by 2 experienced neuroradiologists. The χ2 test was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found between the patient and control groups for the anatomic type of vascular loop, the vascular contact, and the angulation of the vestibulocochlear nerve at the CPA (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Although 3D-FIESTA MR imaging correctly shows the anatomic relationships of the vestibulocochlear nerve, its vascular compression cannot be attributed as an etiological factor for tinnitus.
Gultekin, S., Celik, H., Akpek, S., Oner, Y., Gumus, T., & Tokgoz, N. (2008). Vascular loops at the cerebellopontine angle: Is there a correlation with tinnitus? American Journal of Neuroradiology, 29(9), 1746–1749. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A1212