Just a couple of months ago in this post, I mentioned The New York Times' column, "Think Like a Doctor," and guess what? Today's mystery is about a pulsatile tinnitus patient whose underlying cause stumped even some of the best doctors around (not a big surprise
to us, right?!). As you'll read, the patient has had extensive testing and some possible causes, such as fibromuscular
dysplasia (FMD) were ruled out. Apparently, doctors now know the cause, and the question is: can any of you figure it
SPOILER ALERT: The diagnosis has been posted, and a link to the details is below.
thrilled that our symptom is getting this kind of exposure, and it will be great when this patient's underlying cause is published!
think a very big hint is that her pulsatile tinnitus is accompanied by pain, since we've done a poll on the question of pain, and only 19% of those pulsatile tinnitus patients polled said they also experience pain.
There are more results for
other poll questions we've had over the past few years here. They're not scientific, but they provide some interesting insight into many of our cases.
Do your symptoms
match hers? Can you solve this mystery, or suggest further testing? Dr. Sanders, the author of the article, invites
readers to post their ideas on The New York Times' site and/or leave a "comment" below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The answer will be posted tomorrow.
*If anyone here can guess the correct
diagnosis, you'll get a free Whooshers.com T-Shirt! leave your guess in the comments section, on my Facebook profile page, or email me if you prefer! One guess per reader please.
UPDATE: The diagnosis was "Hemicrania Continua." Fascinating! Even better: medication, not surgery, solved the underlying cause. No, wait - even better
is that her doctor diagnosed her in part because she came across a BLOG POST written BY A PATIENT who suffered the same symptoms
and was diagnosed with Hemicrania Continua.
SEE, SHARING OUR STORIES REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
details about the diagnosis here. I'll be adding this underlying cause to our Cured Whooshers page.
For more information on Hemicrania Continua, including a list of common symptoms (which does not include pulsatile
tinnitus but now we know it should!), see the Hemicrania Continua Information Page on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke's Web site.
Source: "Think Like a Doctor: An Ice Pick in the Head," Lisa Sanders, MD, The New York Times, January 5, 2012.