Dehiscent jugular bulb

Dr Henry Knipe and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

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 is ~5% (range 3.5-7%) of the symptomatic population (e.g. those with tinnitus4-5.

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, the 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).

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Article information

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

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