Vestibular Manifestations in Subjects With Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the results of a thorough evaluation in a large series of patients with an enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA), focusing on vestibular manifestations with etiological considerations.

Study Design:

Retrospective chart review of patients with EVA.

Setting:

Tertiary referral center.

Patients:

A total of 22 EVA patients with a median age of 8 years (6 mo–35 yr) who underwent both audiovestibular and radiologic examinations.

Main Outcome Measures:

Patient demographics, radiologic findings, audiologic results, vestibular symptoms, findings of neurotologic examinations, and laboratory evaluations were collected and analyzed. Standard descriptive statistics were used to summarize patient characteristics. Subjects who had a history of vertigo attack were categorized as “vestibulopathy group,” while subjects without any history of vertigo as “non-vestibulopathy group.”

Results:

Of the 41 ears included, 37 (90.2%) had hearing loss on initial audiometric evaluations. Among the 22 patients, 14 (63.6%) complained of dizziness. Of the 14 vertiginous patients, seven had recurrent episodes, five had a history of single attack, and two presented with postural imbalances. There were no significant differences between vestibulopathy and non-vestibulopathy groups with regard to the relationship between the development of vestibular symptoms and aqueductal size, hearing threshold, or age at first visit. Four of the 22 (18.2%) patients developed secondary benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and all patients complained of simultaneous decreases in hearing.

Conclusions:

Our results demonstrate that patients may develop vestibular symptoms during their clinical course, and all patients with an enlarged vestibular aqueduct should be cautioned regarding the potential development of vestibular pathology. Moreover, the non-negligible incidence of secondary BPPV mandates positional tests when evaluating EVA patients with vertigo.

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