Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Sep;63(9):422-426. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2020.00052.

A Case of Pulsatile Tinnitus Related to Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea


Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder that commonly occurs in obese young women of childbearing age and is characterized by symptoms such as pulsatile tinnitus, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and visual loss without any structural or vascular abnormalities in the intracranial cavity. We recently experienced a case of a 33-year-old obese woman who presented with right-sided pulsatile tinnitus, which is an early symptom for IIH. The patient was successfully treated with weight reduction and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (acetazolamide). Pulsatile tinnitus requires thorough diagnosis and examination because it can be cured if the anatomical or functional cause is identified and treated. When obese women of childbearing age present with pulsatile tinnitus at the otorhinolaryngology outpatient department, treatment for IIH should be initiated after appropriate examination and diagnosis as pulsatile tinnitus may be the only symptom for IIH.


Acetazolamide; Female; Idiopathic intracranial hypertension; Obesity; Pulsatile tinnitus
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