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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Jan;112(1):162-72.

Vestibular neuritis.

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Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.


Because the cause of vestibular neuritis is unknown, this disorder is best understood as a constellation of characteristic clinical symptoms and signs. The differential diagnosis includes peripheral otologic disorders, including Meniere's disease, perilymph fistula, and vestibular atelectasis; and central disorders, including vascular insufficiency, acoustic neuroma, migraine equivalent, paraneoplastic syndrome, metastatic carcinoma, and multiple sclerosis. The site of lesion, as evaluated by clinical signs and symptoms, is controversial because concomitant central nervous system abnormalities have been described. The histopathology of temporal bones from persons who in life had symptoms characteristic of vestibular neuritis demonstrates degeneration of branches of the vestibular nerve and the neuroepithelium of vestibular end organs. Possible causes of vestibular neuritis include viral or other infectious agents and vascular or immune-mediated disorders. The natural history of this disorder is variable. In some patients complete recovery of acute signs and symptoms, including loss of vestibular response, is seen, whereas in others permanent changes have been reported. Initial treatment is generally symptomatic only. Patients with poor recovery may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation or, occasionally, from surgical intervention. The elucidation of the pathogenesis of vestibular neuritis and the development of logical guidelines for individual rehabilitation are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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