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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2010 Apr;30(4):864-70. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2009.254. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Functional brain abnormalities localized in 55 chronic tinnitus patients: fusion of SPECT coincidence imaging and MRI.

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Iran National Science Foundation, Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Hazrate Rasoul Hospital, Tehran, Iran.


Tinnitus is often defined as the perception of sounds or noise in the absence of any external auditory stimuli. The pathophysiology of subjective idiopathic tinnitus remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the functional brain activities and possible involved cerebral areas in subjective idiopathic tinnitus patients by means of single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) coincidence imaging, which was fused with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this cross-sectional study, 56 patients (1 subject excluded) with subjective tinnitus and 8 healthy controls were enrolled. After intravenous injection of 5 mCi F18-FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose), all subjects underwent a brain SPECT coincidence scan, which was then superimposed on their MRIs. In the eight regions of interest (middle temporal, inferotemporal, medial temporal, lateral temporal, temporoparietal, frontal, frontoparietal, and parietal areas), the more pronounced values were represented in medial temporal, inferotemporal, and temporoparietal areas, which showed more important proportion of associative auditory cortices in functional attributions of tinnitus than primary auditory cortex. Brain coincidence SPECT scan, when fused on MRI is a valuable technique in the assessment of patients with tinnitus and could show the significant role of different regions of central nervous system in functional attributions of tinnitus.

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