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Brain. 1996 Jun;119 ( Pt 3):755-63.

Vestibular neuritis spares the inferior division of the vestibular nerve.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Eberhard-Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

Acute unilateral vestibulopathy, or vestibular neuritis, is the second most common cause of vertigo. To quantify the involvement of the different semicircular canal (SCC) afferents in this disease, we studied the three-dimensional (3D) properties of the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) in 16 patients 3-10 days after onset of symptoms. Using 3D magnetic search coil eye movement recordings, we measured the speed and axis of eye rotation during spontaneous nystagmus and during rotation in the planes of the different SCCs. In all patients, spontaneous nystagmus axes clustered between the direction expected with involvement of just one horizontal SCC and the direction expected with combined involvement of the horizontal and anterior SCC on one side. Likewise, dynamic asymmetries were found only during rotations about axes which stimulated the ipsilesional horizontal or ipsilesional anterior SCCs. No asymmetry was found when the ipsilesional posterior SCC was stimulated. Thus, both measurements suggest that vestibular neuritis is a partial and not a complete unilateral vestibular lesion and that this partial lesion affects the superior division of the vestibular nerve which includes the afferents from the horizontal and anterior SCCs.

PMID:
8673488
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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