J Korean Soc Radiol.  2016 Dec;75(6):434-445. 10.3348/jksr.2016.75.6.434.

Change in Functional Connectivity in Tinnitus and its Relation with Tinnitus Laterality

  • 1Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Radiology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. md.cwryu@gmail.com
  • 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.


To identify potential differences in resting-state networks according to laterality of tinnitus using resting-state functional MRI (fMRI).
A total of 83 age-matched subjects consisting of 19 patients with right-sided tinnitus (Rt-T), 22 patients with left-sided tinnitus (Lt-T), 22 patients with bilateral tinnitus (Bil-T), and 20 healthy controls underwent resting-state blood oxygenation-level dependent fMRI scans. Independent component analysis was used to obtain the functional connectivities in the auditory network (AN) and the default mode network (DMN), which were compared between each group using the voxel-wise one-way ANOVA. In addition, lateralization of the auditory cortex was assessed within each group using a region of interest (ROI).
Comparisons between tinnitus groups showed unusual clusters with different functional connectivities in the AN and the DMN. The Rt-T group had large clusters with higher functional connectivity in the right middle temporal gyrus and temporopolar area compared with the Lt-/Bil-T and control groups. ROI analysis showed that the Rt-/Lt-T groups had dominant functional connectivity in the right auditory cortex and the Bil-T and control groups had left-dominant auditory connectivity.
These results suggest that chronic tinnitus is related to aberrant laterality of the auditory cortex. These findings help clarify the neural mechanism of tinnitus and specify the targets for localization of treatment.

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