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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2018, Article ID 4756471, 7 pages
Research Article

Neuroanatomical Alterations in Patients with Early Stage of Unilateral Pulsatile Tinnitus: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

1Institute for Biomedical Engineering and College of Information Engineering, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou, China
2Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
3Department of Radiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
4Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhenchang Wang; moc.361.piv@hchzw.rjc and Jian-Ming Zhu; moc.liamg@baluhzrd

Received 3 July 2017; Revised 14 November 2017; Accepted 16 January 2018; Published 28 February 2018

Academic Editor: J. Michael Wyss

Copyright © 2018 Yawen Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the past several years, the rapid development of neuroimaging techniques has contributed greatly in the noninvasive imaging studies of tinnitus. The aim of the present study was to explore the brain anatomical alterations in patients with right-sided unilateral pulsatile tinnitus (PT) in the early stage of PT symptom using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis. Twenty-four patients with right-sided pulsatile tinnitus and 24 age- and gender-matched normal controls were recruited to this study. Structural image data preprocessing was performed using VBM8 toolbox. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) score was acquired in the tinnitus group to assess the severity of tinnitus and tinnitus-related distress. Two-sample t-test and Pearson’s correlation analysis were used in statistical analysis. Patients with unilateral pulsatile tinnitus had significantly increased gray matter (GM) volume in bilateral superior temporal gyrus compared with the normal controls. However, the left cerebellum posterior lobe, left frontal superior orbital lobe (gyrus rectus), right middle occipital gyrus (MOG), and bilateral putamen showed significantly decreased brain volumes. This was the first study which demonstrated the features of neuroanatomical changes in patients with unilateral PT during their early stages of the symptom.