[Sudden hearing loss as the leading symptom of an infarction of the left anterior inferior cerebellar artery]

M J Patzak, K Demuth, R Kehl, A Lindner
HNO 2005, 53 (9): 797-9
The sudden onset of hearing impairment or hearing loss can be a characteristic sign of a vertebrobasilar circulatory disturbance. We report on a 65 year old male patient with an acute left-sided tinnitus followed by hearing loss as an initial symptom of an infarction of the left anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA). Successively, additional symptoms with vertigo, nausea, vomiting and a transient dysarthria and ataxia of the left upper extremity occurred. In the course of the illness, the hearing loss, ataxia and dysarthria completely recovered. MRI of the brain showed an infarction in the area of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery; neurosonographic examination of the basilar and vertebral arteries was normal. Therefore, in patients with acute hearing impairment or hearing loss, an AICA-ischemia should be considered and the patient carefully examined for additional brainstem symptoms, since this can be the first sign of an life-threatening basilar artery thrombosis.

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