Normal Caloric Responses during Acute Phase of Vestibular Neuritis

Sun Uk Lee, Seong Ho Park, Hyo Jung Kim, Ja Won Koo, Ji Soo Kim
Journal of Clinical Neurology 2016, 12 (3): 301-7

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We report a novel finding of caloric conversion from normal responses into unilateral paresis during the acute phase of vestibular neuritis (VN).

METHODS: We recruited 893 patients with a diagnosis of VN at Dizziness Clinic of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital from 2003 to 2014 after excluding 28 patients with isolated inferior divisional VN (n=14) and those without follow-up tests despite normal caloric responses initially (n=14). We retrospectively analyzed the neurotological findings in four (0.5%) of the patients who showed a conversion from initially normal caloric responses into unilateral paresis during the acute phase.

RESULTS: In those four patients, the initial caloric tests were performed within 2 days of symptom onset, and conversion into unilateral caloric paresis was documented 1-4 days later. The clinical and laboratory findings during the initial evaluation were consistent with VN in all four patients except for normal findings in bedside head impulse tests in one of them.

CONCLUSIONS: Normal findings in caloric tests should be interpreted with caution during the acute phase of suspected VN. Follow-up evaluation should be considered when the findings of the initial caloric test are normal, but VN remains the most plausible diagnosis.

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