AICA syndrome with facial palsy following vertigo and acute sensorineural hearing loss

Tomoko Ikegami-Takada, Masahiko Izumikawa, Tadashi Doi, Yohei Takada, Koichi Tomoda
Auris, Nasus, Larynx 2012, 39 (2): 244-8
We report a case of infarction of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) with peripheral facial palsy following vertigo and acute sensorineural hearing loss. A 39-year-old female presented with vertigo and sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness of the right ear. An audiogram revealed a severe hearing loss at all tested frequencies in the right ear. Spontaneous nystagmus toward the left side was also observed. Otoneurological examinations showed sensorineural hearing loss of the right ear and horizontal and rotatory gaze nystagmus toward the left side, and a caloric reflex test demonstrated canal paresis. Initially, we diagnosed the patient for sudden deafness with vertigo. However, right peripheral facial palsy appeared 2 days later. An eye tracking test (ETT) and optokinetic pattern test (OKP) showed centralis abnormality. The patient's brain was examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angioglaphy (MRA) and showed an infarction localized in the pons and cerebellum. MRI and MRA revealed infarction of the right cerebellar hemisphere indicating occlusion of the AICA. Consequently, the patient was diagnosed with AICA syndrome but demonstrated regression following steroid and edaravone treatment. We suggest that performing MRI and MRA in the early stage of AICA syndrome is important for distinguishing cerebellar infarction resulting from vestibular disease.

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