Sudden presentation of immune-mediated inner ear disease: characterization and acceptance of a cochleovestibular dysfunction

J Laryngol Otol. 2003 Oct;117(10):775-9. doi: 10.1258/002221503770716188.


Since the McCabe report, growing indirect evidence has accumulated to indicate the implication of immune mechanisms in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated inner-ear disease (IMIED). A clinical study of a group of patients affected by this condition was performed in order to characterize the immune group, based on a recently reported profile, and compared with the vascular, viral and idiopathic aetiologies of sudden deafness. Patients affected by immune-mediated inner-ear disease had the best and the earliest recovery rate of hearing (p = 0.0028 and p = 0.017, respectively). However, this group of patients also had the higher rate of recurrence (p = 0.034), supporting the typical clinical course of the autoimmune disorders. On the basis of the results the criteria used in the diagnosis of the sudden presentation of the immune-mediated inner ear disease could be accepted leading to the characterization of this condition. Likewise, the role of the supporting cells in the pathogenesis of the IMIED is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Ear, Inner / immunology
  • Ear, Inner / physiopathology
  • Ear, Inner / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / drug therapy
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / etiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Diseases / complications
  • Virus Diseases / complications


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone