Impairment of Static Vestibular Function Is Limited in Patients with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss with Vertigo

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Sudden sensorineural hearing loss with vertigo (SSNHL_V) and vestibular neuritis (VN) are common neuro-otologic disorders that cause acute spontaneous vertigo. The SSNHL_V and VN lesion sites are thought to be within the labyrinth and the vestibular nerve, respectively. Neurolabyrinthitis of a viral origin is the most commonly accepted etiology of SSNHL_V, and neural degeneration due to viral infection (predominantly in the superior vestibular nerve) is thought to be responsible for the pathophysiology of VN. The objective of this study was to compare the static vestibular imbalance between SSNHL_V and VN patients during the acute stage of the disease. We compared the results of spontaneous nystagmus (SN), subjective visual vertical (SVV), and canal paresis (CP) between SSNHL_V and VN patients within 10 days from the onset of vertigo. Significant SN was observed in 58% of SSNHL_V and 90% of VN patients (p < 0.001), and abnormal SVV was observed in 10% of SSNHL_V and 78% of VN patients (p < 0.001). However, CP values were not significantly different between the 2 groups (50.8 ± 19.7% in SSNHL_V and 57.1 ± 18.9% in VN). In conclusion, significant SN and abnormal SVV are less frequently encountered in SSNHL_V than in VN even though the caloric test did not reveal significant differences at the acute stage.

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