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Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2013 Jun;22(2):72-5.

Vestibular paroxysmia associated with paroxysmal pulsatile tinnitus: a case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Neurology, Neuro-Medical Scientific Center, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taichung Branch, Taiwan.



Vestibular paroxysmia is defined as paroxysmal, brief, and carbamazepine-responsive vertigo. Although neurovascular cross-compression (NVCC) of the vestibulocochlear nerve is believed to be the cause of vestibular paroxysmia, the mechanism remains controversial. Herein, we describe the case of a man with NVCC who presented with paroxysmal vertigo associated with paroxysmal pulsatile tinnitus.


A 68-year-old man presented with paroxysmal vertigo for one month. Paroxysmal pulsatile tinnitus in the right ear occurred simultaneously with the vertigo. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated that the right anterior inferior cerebellar artery was compressing the right vestibulocochlear nerve. The vertigo and tinnitus completely disappeared within one week after treatment with carbamazepine.


The pulsatile nature of the patient's tinnitus implied that the auditory nerve was being compressed by a pulsating artery and was found to consolidate the causal relationship between NVCC and vestibular paroxysmia.

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