Dehiscent jugular bulb

Dehiscent jugular bulbs are present when the sigmoid plate between a high riding jugular bulb and the middle ear is absent, allowing the wall of the jugular bulb to bulge into the middle ear cavity.

The estimated incidence may be around 3.5-7 % of the symptomatic population (e.g. those with tinnitus etc) 4-5.

It is one of the causes of pulsatile tinnitus and is a common cause of a retrotympanic vascular mass

  • given the often turbulent flow within the jugular bulb, signal on MRI can be confusing
  • the presence of the sigmoid plate can only be ascertained on CT

Clearly, if it is mistaken for a middle ear tumour and biopsied, then the consequences can be disastrous (as is biopsying an aberrant internal carotid artery).

Share article

Article information

rID: 1205
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Jugular bulb dehiscence
  • Dehiscence of jugular bulb

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Dehiscent jugular...
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.