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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vestibular neuropathy accompanying auditory and peripheral neuropathies

  • Author(s): Fujikawa, S
  • Starr, A
  • et al.

Objective: To define the incidence of measurable vestibular disorders in patients with auditory and peripheral neuropathies. Design: Descriptive study of the case features of auditory neuropathy in 14 patients, 8 of whom had concomitant peripheral neuropathies. Setting: University referral center. Patients: Fourteen patients aged from 10 to 75 years and diagnosed as having auditory neuropathy, 8 of whom had concomitant peripheral neuropathies. Main Outcome Measures: Incidence of abnormal vestibular caloric test results and the relationship of such incidence to clinical variables including the ages of the subjects, the presence of a concomitant peripheral neuropathy, vestibular symptoms, and audiological findings. Results: Abnormal vestibular caloric test results occurred in 9 of the 14 patients. These 9 patients were on average older (35.6 years) than patients with normal caloric responses (17.8 years). Seven of the 9 patients with abnormal caloric responses had concomitant peripheral neuropathies compared with only 1 of the 5 patients with normal caloric responses. None of the 14 patients experienced symptoms of vestibular disorder. Conclusions: Asymptomatic vestibular disorders are common in patients with auditory neuropathy when a peripheral neuropathy is also present. The reason for the abnormal vestibular test results is likely a neuropathy of the vestibular nerves.

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