Final diagnosis of patients with clinically suspected vestibular neuritis showing normal caloric response

Sung Hwan Ahn, Jung Eun Shin, Chang-Hee Kim
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience: Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia 2017, 41: 107-110
Vestibular neuritis is one of the most common peripheral causes of acute vestibular syndrome, of which the diagnosis is generally based on a comprehensive interpretation of clinical and laboratory findings following reasonable exclusion of other disorders. This study aimed to investigate the final diagnosis of patients admitted to hospital under the clinical impression of vestibular neuritis who showed no unilateral caloric paresis. Forty-five patients who visited the emergency department with isolated acute spontaneous vertigo were included. Among them, six patients (13%) developed definitive spontaneous vertigo lasting longer than 20min again after discharge from hospital, accompanied by hearing loss, which was audiometrically documented, leading to a final diagnosis of definite Ménière's disease. Nine patients (20%) revisited our clinic with recurrent episodic vertigo without any documented hearing loss or auditory symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus or ear fullness, which led to a final diagnosis of possible Ménière's disease. In four patients (9%), initial spontaneous vertigo and nystagmus changed to positional vertigo and nystagmus on the second hospital day. In 26 patients (58%), neither another episode of vertigo nor auditory symptoms developed during follow-up period (7-92months), a condition to which the authors gave an arbitrary diagnosis of "mild unilateral vestibular deficit". In conclusion, patients admitted to hospital under clinical impression of vestibular neuritis may have various final diagnoses, and "mild unilateral vestibular deficit" was the most common final diagnosis among patients who did not meet the diagnostic criteria of vestibular neuritis.

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