Pulsatile tinnitus associated with dehiscent internal carotid artery: An irremediable condition?

Jean Philippe Van Damme, Géraldine Heylen, Chantal Gilain, Pierre Garin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Dehiscent internal carotid artery (ICA) in the middle ear is a rare condition, with conservative treatment primarily recommended. We report the case of a 63-year-old patient referred to the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) ward for unbearable pulsatile tinnitus. Otoscopy revealed a normal right tympanic membrane, with pulsatile tinnitus but without hearing impairment. Based on imaging studies, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the temporal bone, as well as Doppler ultrasound of the internal carotid artery and sigmoid sinus, the diagnosis of ICA canal dehiscence into the tympanic cavity was established, thus excluding the diagnosis of aberrant ICA. Following the patient's own request, we undertook surgical correction, with the technique used described in the report. Immediately postoperatively, the pulsatile tinnitus had disappeared, with no surgical complications noted. At the 9-month follow-up, otoscopy revealed a healthy right tympanic membrane and the patient reported no remaining symptoms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)612-615
    Number of pages4
    JournalAuris Nasus Larynx
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


    • Carotid artery, internal
    • Dehiscence
    • Pulsatile tinnitus
    • Surgical approach


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