Sudden unilateral hearing loss as first sign of cerebral sinus venous thrombosis? A 3-year retrospective analysis

Eva Maria Braun, Hanne Stanzenberger, Ulrike Nemetz, Wolfgang Luxenberger, Andreas Lackner, Sophie Bachna-Rotter, Peter Valentin Tomazic, Georg Philipp Hammer, Thorsten Ropposch, Christian Walch
Otology & Neurotology 2013, 34 (4): 657-61

INTRODUCTION: Recently, several studies and case reports have dealt with the topic of cerebral sinus venous thrombosis (CSVT) and focused on sudden hearing loss as an early and rare symptom, to diminish the delay in diagnosing this serious disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis over 3 years and investigated MRIs of all inpatients who were treated for sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether sudden hearing loss could be an early indicator, or the first sign, of CSVT.

RESULTS: In total, 554 patients were included. Only 2 patients with CSVT could be identified. In both, sudden unilateral sensorineural hearing loss was not the only symptom. They also reported headache, and 1 patient also reported tinnitus and vertigo.

CONCLUSION: In our opinion, sudden unilateral sensorineural hearing loss alone is not a reliable indicator of CSVT. In combination with headache or visual impairment, this rare vascular disease should be taken into account.

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