Neurosyphilis as a cause of facial and vestibulocochlear nerve dysfunction: MR imaging features

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2000 Oct;21(9):1673-5.


The prevalence of syphilis increased for several decades before the mid-1990s in the United States, particularly in the southern states. We report a case of neurosyphilis causing bilateral facial and vestibulocochlear nerve dysfunction in which the diagnosis was not initially suspected based on the patient's demographics and history. The MR imaging features helped to make the diagnosis in this case and to exclude other possible causes of multiple cranial nerve dysfunction in this patient. Hearing loss associated with neurosyphilis is one of the few treatable forms of progressive hearing loss, and it is essential that a diagnosis of neurosyphilis be made expeditiously.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Facial Nerve / pathology
  • Facial Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosyphilis / complications*
  • Neurosyphilis / diagnosis
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / pathology
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*