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Chin Med J (Engl). 2001 Aug;114(8):848-51.

Regional glucose metabolic increases in left auditory cortex in tinnitus patients: a preliminary study with positron emission tomography.

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Institute of Otolaryngology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.



To investigate the relationship between tinnitus and glucose metabolism in auditory cortex and whether positron emission tomography (PET) can be an objective tool in measuring tinnitus.


Eleven right-handed patients with severe tinnitus and ten right-handed control subjects participated in the 18F-FDG/PET study. Analysis with regions of interests was used to calculate asymmetry indices according to the formula: [(L-R) x 100/[(L + R) divided by 2]].


Glucose metabolism in the auditory cortex of tinnitus patients was asymmetric between the left and right auditory cortices, with that of the left being much higher than that of the right. The asymmetry indices of tinnitus patients was significantly higher than that of the control group (unpaired t test, P < 0.001). This revealed that the increased metabolic activity was present in the predominant left hemisphere with a significant focus on the superior and transverse temporal gyri (Brodmann areas 41 and 42, respectively corresponding to primary and secondary auditory cortex), and the results were independent of the subjective localization of the tinnitus sensation.


It is suggested that the increased metabolism in the left auditory cortex is related to the tinnitus sensation. PET is capable of providing objective evidence for tinnitus and may be used as a potential tool in measuring tinnitus.

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