Sudden deafness in vertebrobasilar ischemia: clinical features, vascular topographical patterns and long-term outcome

Hyung Lee, Robert W Baloh
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2005 January 15, 228 (1): 99-104

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to document the clinical features and natural history of sudden deafness associated with vertebrobasilar ischemia (VBI) and to describe the vascular topographic patterns of ischemic lesions on brain MRI associated with sudden deafness based on data collected from a prospective acute stroke registry.

METHODS: From 364 consecutive cases of VBI diagnosed by clinical features and brain MRI between January 2000 and September 2003, 29 patients were identified as having sudden deafness as a symptom of VBI.

RESULTS: In our series, the incidence of sudden deafness following VBI is 8.0% (29/364). Hearing loss occurred unilaterally (n=27) or bilaterally (n=2). All but one had vertigo as an associated symptom. Nine patients (31%) presented with an isolated audiovestibular loss initially and subsequently had delayed neurological deficits. Nearly a half of patients (14/29: 48%) showed cochlear features of hearing loss. Seventeen (81%) of 21 patients who were followed for at least 1 year after onset of sudden deafness had a recovery of hearing partially (n=10) or completely (n=7). The improvement rate of hearing loss in patients with profound hearing loss was significantly lower than that in patients with less than profound hearing loss (40% vs. 89%, P<0.01). In addition to infarction in the territory of anterior inferior cerebellar artery (n=23), cerebellar infarction in the territory of the medial branch of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (n=4) or an isolated brainstem infarction (n=2) was also associated with sudden deafness.

CONCLUSION: An isolated sudden deafness with cochlear audiometric features can be the initial presentation of VBI. Sudden deafness due to VBI often has a good outcome. There is topographic heterogeneity of ischemic lesions on brain MRI in patients with sudden deafness due to VBI.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"