Recent advances in central acute vestibular syndrome of a vascular cause

Hyun-Ah Kim, Hyung Lee
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2012 October 15, 321 (1-2): 17-22
Acute vestibular syndrome (AVS) is characterized by acute onset of spontaneous prolonged vertigo (lasting days), spontaneous nystagmus, postural instability, and autonomic symptoms. Peripheral AVS commonly presents as vestibular neuritis, but may also include other disorders such as Meniere's disease. Vertigo in central AVS due to vertebrobasilar ischemic stroke is usually accompanied by other neurological dysfunction. However it can occur in isolation and mimicking peripheral AVS, particularly with cerebellar strokes. Recent large prospective studies have demonstrated that approximately 11% of patients with isolated cerebellar infarction presented with isolated vertigo mimicking peripheral AVS, and the bedside head impulse test is the most useful tool for differentiating central from peripheral AVS. Herein we review the keys to the diagnosis of central AVS of a vascular cause presenting with isolated vertigo or audiovestibular loss.

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