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Pathophysiology of subjective tinnitus: triggers and maintenance

Haider, Haúla F.; Bojić, Tijana; Ribeiro, Sara F.; Paço, João; Hall, Deborah; Szczepek, Agnieszka J.

Pathophysiology of subjective tinnitus: triggers and maintenance Thumbnail


Haúla F. Haider

Tijana Bojić

Sara F. Ribeiro

João Paço

Deborah Hall

Agnieszka J. Szczepek


Tinnitus is the conscious perception of a sound without a corresponding external acoustic stimulus, usually described as a phantom perception. One of the major challenges for tinnitus research is to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms triggering and maintaining the symptoms. Our objective was to synthesize the published literature in order to provide a comprehensive update on theoretical and experimental advances and to identify further research and clinical directions. We performed literature searches in three electronic databases, complemented by scanning reference lists from relevant reviews in our included records, citation searching of the included articles using Web of Science, and manual searching of the last six months of principal otology journals. One-hundred and thirty-two records were included in the review and the information related to peripheral and central
mechanisms of tinnitus pathophysiology was collected in order to update on theories and models. A narrative synthesis examined
the main themes arising from this information. Tinnitus pathophysiology is complex and multifactorial, involving the auditory and non-auditory systems. Recent theories assume the necessary involvement of extra-auditory brain regions for tinnitus to reach
consciousness. Tinnitus engages multiple active dynamic and overlapping networks. We conclude that advancing knowledge
concerning the origin and maintenance of specific tinnitus subtypes origin and maintenance mechanisms is of paramount importance for identifying adequate treatment.


Haider, H. F., Bojić, T., Ribeiro, S. F., Paço, J., Hall, D., & Szczepek, A. J. (2018). Pathophysiology of subjective tinnitus: triggers and maintenance. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, Article 866.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 6, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2018
Publication Date Nov 27, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 7, 2018
Journal Frontiers in Neuroscience
Print ISSN 1662-4548
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Article Number 866
Public URL
Publisher URL


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