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Acta Otolaryngol. 2012 Oct;132(10):1126-30. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

Aberrant internal carotid artery causing objective pulsatile tinnitus and conductive hearing loss.

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Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.


Aberrant internal carotid artery (ICA) in the middle ear is a rare, dangerous vascular anomaly and conservative follow-up was usually adopted in most reported cases. Here we report the case of an 8-year-old girl with symptoms of objective pulsatile tinnitus and conductive hearing loss in the right ear. Otoscopic examination, computed tomography, and conventional angiography were performed. An aberrant ICA combined with a 'third mobile window' was suspected preoperatively and confirmed at exploratory surgery of the middle ear. The aberrant ICA was treated, and the pulsatile tinnitus disappeared and hearing recovered after the surgery. This case suggests that surgery is practical to relieve troublesome tinnitus and hearing loss in appropriate cases with aberrant ICA.

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