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Pulse synchronous tinnitus – Diagnosis and treatment

At the Department of Neuroradiology, we diagnose pulse synchronous tinnitus, clarify the underlying cause and treat you with state-of-the-art endovascular procedures.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Endovascular procedures are minimally invasive. We access and treat the vessels through a small incision in the groin or arm. No open surgery is required, which would bear greater risks and increase recovery time.
  • Even endovascular procedures, however, bear certain risks; for example, blood vessels may be injured during treatment. These risks vary from case to case and are carefully clarified by us in advance.
  • The alternative is conservative treatment (without intervention) or direct surgery. Internationally renowned institution

Why choose the USZ?

Many years of expertise

Our clinic is an internationally renowned institution in the field of diagnostics and minimally invasive, image-guided treatment. We treat diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, associated organs (eyes, auditory, vestibular, etc.), and surrounding structures of the head, neck and spine.

Latest treatment methods

At the Department of Neuroradiology, we strive to offer the best possible treatment to every patient. We therefore use the latest interventional methods, the most advanced materials and instruments, and cutting-edge imaging techniques.

Partner network

Additionally, we hold weekly interdisciplinary conferences with experts from neurosurgery, neurology and neuroradiology during which we develop an individual therapy concept for each case. To guarantee optimal treatment selection and patient care our experienced neuroradiology interventionists further collaborate with experts from other clinics as well as with outstanding nursing and rehabilitation specialists before, during and after the intervention.

Course of treatment


First, we perform a physical examination to determine whether venous or arterial blood vessels cause the tinnitus.

Precise imaging and, if necessary, a functional catheter angiography can usually identify the tinnitus’ source. Moreover, we will use imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to visualize the cerebral vessels and to show where they are located in relation to the bones and the ear. These imaging methods also helps us to evaluate if vascular malformations (DAVF) or tumors are present.

If the diagnosis remains unclear, we perform a functional catheter angiography (DSA). Here you’ll need to cooperate with the attending physician to find the head position where the tinnitus is loudest. During this examination, we can also temporarily close selected vessels to test if this stops the tinnitus.


Once the cause of the pulse synchronous tinnitus is clear, we discuss treatment options with you. It is crucial to weigh the severity of the symptoms against the risk of treatment.

If you would benefit from endovascular treatment, we then draw up a timely appointment, taking into account the urgency of the treatment and your specific wishes. “Endovascular” means that the treatment takes place within the vessels, for example using balloons or stents. Which type of endovascular treatment we use depends on the cause of the tinnitus:

  • DAVF are treated with minimally invasive procedures.
  • Hypervascular tumors can be treated by surgery, embolization, or a combination of both.
  • For the other vascular causes of tinnitus, we will select one of several treatment options based on the patient’s needs.

The treatment requires a hospital stay of three to four days. You will arrive the morning before the procedure and we will assess your status and make the final preparations. We will use this opportunity to answer any questions you might have. On the day of the procedure, you will be taken from the ward to one of our two procedure rooms, where the surgical team will meet you and perform the procedure.


Immediately after the procedure, we will examine you to make sure everything went well. We will then transfer you to a specialized monitoring ward where you will be cared for until the next day. The following day, you will undergo a magnetic resonance examination to assess the surgical outcome and rule out any complications. Usually, you will then return to the standard ward and after another one or two days you will consult with a specialist and can then go home. During this last consultation, we will schedule appointments for further check-ups.

Hospital stay 3-4 days

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for an appointment. Please ask your physician to refer you to our clinic or to register you for the neurovascular consultation hour. ​


If you have any questions, please contact our patient secretariat.

Tel. +41 44 255 56 01

For referring physicians

Register your patient for our neurovascular consultation hour through the online form or through an e-mail to the patient secretariat.

Tel. +41 44 255 56 01