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Pulsed Radiofrequency of the Vagal Nerve for Tinnitus -A Case-Study.

TINNITUS BACKGROUND: Vagal nerve stimulation is a promising therapy for tinnitus. Pulsed radiofrequency is a minimally invasive neuromodulator technique that could be applied repeatedly without damage to neural tissue. In this case-study we document the use of pulsed radiofrequency of the vagal nerve as a successful therapy without harm for patients with tinnitus.

METHODS: A 22-gauge, 60 mm-long needle with a 5 mm active tip was placed percutaneously at the inner side of the tragus. The auricular branch of the vagal nerve was subjected to pulsed radiofrequency at 42 V, 2 Hz, and 10 milliseconds for 10 minutes.

RESULTS: Pulsed radiofrequency of the vagal nerve can reduce tinnitus and improve hearing in a patient with severe tinnitus and hearing loss. The intensity of the tinnitus was reduced to 5% of the original intensity at the left side and to 20% at the right side. An improved hearing of 20 to 30 dB from 250 Hz to 8 kHz in the left ear and from 250 Hz to 2 kHz in the right ear was objectivated in the audiogram.

CONCLUSIONS: This case-study document that PRF of the vagal nerve can reduce tinnitus and improve hearing in a patient with severe tinnitus and hearing loss. However, further research of PRF of the vagal nerve in tinnitus patients is needed.

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