Unilateral Aberrant Internal Carotid Artery in the Middle Ear: A Case Report Presenting with Pulsatile Tinnitus


The prevalence of aberrant internal carotid artery (ICA) in the middle ear is very low. It represents a potentially life-threatening anatomical variation that requires an accurate diagnosis to prevent catastrophic complications such as massive hemorrhage during otologic procedures. Tomography and magnetic resonance could be very useful to identify this rare entity and to avoid its complications. We report the case of a 42-year-old woman who presented to our Ear, Nose and Throat department with persistent unilateral pulsatile tinnitus. An aberrant ICA in the tympanic cavity is a rare and particularly dangerous condition. Otolaryngologists must always consider the possibility of severe or fatal hemorrhage, so accurate pre- operative radiologic investigations are recommended before each middle-ear surgical intervention.


Aberrant internal carotid artery pulsatile tinnitus, computerized tomography, magnetic resonance

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Article Info

Article Type
Case Report
Publication history
Received: Mon 14, Mar 2022
Accepted: Mon 28, Mar 2022
Published: Fri 15, Apr 2022
© 2021 Fabrizio Cialente. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository.
DOI: 10.31487/j.SCR.2022.03.01

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Fabrizio Cialente
Surgery Unit, Derpartment of Surgical Specialties, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Piazza Sant'Onofrio, Rome, Italy

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