Sudden unilateral hearing loss with simultaneous ipsilateral posterior semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: a variant of vestibulo-cochlear neurolabyrinthitis?

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000 Aug;126(8):1024-9. doi: 10.1001/archotol.126.8.1024.


We describe 4 patients who all simultaneously developed a sudden total or partial unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and an unusual acute peripheral vestibulopathy in the same ear characterized by posterior semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo with intact lateral semicircular canal function. Two patients also had ipsilateral loss of otolith function. The vertigo resolved in all 4 patients after particle-repositioning maneuvers. The findings of audiometry and vestibular tests indicated that the lesion responsible for this syndrome was probably located within the labyrinth itself rather than within the vestibulocochlear nerve and that it was more likely a viral vestibulocochlear neurolabyrinthitis than a labyrinthine infarction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / complications*
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / complications*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tinnitus / complications
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / complications
  • Vertigo / diagnosis
  • Vertigo / physiopathology*