Magstim Logo

A systematic review and meta-analysis of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) effects on tinnitus

Publication Reference

Galal, S., Ismail, N., & Niel, G. (2020). A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials on the Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Tinnitus Management. Central Asian Journal of Global Health9(1).


Article Summary*

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials with a ≥6-month follow-up period was performed to assess whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has efficacy in reducing tinnitus. Medline, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases were searched for randomized controlled trials on adults (≥19 years), between 2005-2015, using the keywords “tinnitus” and “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation”. Studies were included that used high or low frequency rTMS as a treatment for tinnitus. Studies that used rTMS in combination with other therapies (e.g., medicines) or included patients with total hearing loss were excluded. Studies were also narrowed down to those with a common primary or secondary tool for measuring tinnitus severity, which was determined to be the tinnitus handicapped inventory (THI).

Five RCTs met the inclusion criteria, which amounted to 119 patients in the active rTMS groups and 115 in the sham rTMS groups. Three studies compared rTMS to sham rTMS, and two compared different parameters of rTMS (e.g., stimulation sites, or Hz frequencies). The included studies used different designs and parameters to measure the tinnitus severity, but THI was a common measure across all of the studies. THI score decreased after rTMS in four of the five studies. However, meta-analysis on the three sham-controlled RCTs revealed a favourable but non-significant effect of active rTMS compared to sham rTMS. The authors concluded that there were few relevant RCTs during 2005-2015 and further research is required.



*For original abstract/publication see the link below.


Publication link:


Keep up to date