Recent Advances in Cerebellar Ischemic Stroke Syndromes Causing Vertigo and Hearing Loss

Hyun-Ah Kim, Hyon-Ah Yi, Hyung Lee
Cerebellum 2016, 15 (6): 781-788
Cerebellar ischemic stroke is one of the common causes of vascular vertigo. It usually accompanies other neurological symptoms or signs, but a small infarct in the cerebellum can present with vertigo without other localizing symptoms. Approximately 11 % of the patients with isolated cerebellar infarction simulated acute peripheral vestibulopathy, and most patients had an infarct in the territory of the medial branch of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). A head impulse test can differentiate acute isolated vertigo associated with PICA territory cerebellar infarction from more benign disorders involving the inner ear. Acute hearing loss (AHL) of a vascular cause is mostly associated with cerebellar infarction in the territory of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA), but PICA territory cerebellar infarction rarely causes AHL. To date, at least eight subgroups of AICA territory infarction have been identified according to the pattern of neurotological presentations, among which the most common pattern of audiovestibular dysfunction is the combined loss of auditory and vestibular functions. Sometimes acute isolated audiovestibular loss can be the initial symptom of impending posterior circulation ischemic stroke (particularly within the territory of the AICA). Audiovestibular loss from cerebellar infarction has a good long-term outcome than previously thought. Approximately half of patients with superior cerebellar artery territory (SCA) cerebellar infarction experienced true vertigo, suggesting that the vertigo and nystagmus in the SCA territory cerebellar infarctions are more common than previously thought. In this article, recent findings on clinical features of vertigo and hearing loss from cerebellar ischemic stroke syndrome are summarized.

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