These sounds may be normal, innocent findings (i.e., a venous hum in a child) or may point to underlying pathology (i.e., a carotid artery bruit caused by atherosclerotic stenosis in an adult). Abstract Cervical venous hums are unusual in the adult unless a hyperdynamic circulatory state exists. Patients with intracranial arteriovenous malformations often have increased cerebral blood.
The venous hum was secondary to chronic anemia in one patient and was idiopathic in the other. The idiopathic hum was not heard in the neck but could be heard by auscultating the right auditory canal. Ligation of the right internal jugular vein abolished the idiopathic hum, which had been present for . The venous hum can be brought out even in the normal adult by causing slight angulation of the internal jugulars by turning the head to the opposite side and tilting it slightly upward. Anemia and hyperthyroidism often lead to very rapid circulation and cause venous hums in adults.
The normal cervical venous hum may be distinguished clinically from murmurs associated with disease states by the fact that it can be silenced by light pressure over the jugular vein. Full text Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Self-heard venous hums have been previously documented and recognized as one cause of audible pulsatile tinnitus. A patient presented with a right internal jugular venous hum causing audible tinnitus and a right sensorineural hearing loss, both of which resolved after high ligation of .
Venous hum is a benign phenomenon. At rest, 20% of the cardiac output flows to the brain via the internal carotid and vertebral arteries. This drains via the internal jugular veins. The flow of blood can cause the vein walls to vibrate creating a humming noise which can be heard by the subject.