Acute vestibular neuritis visualized by 3-T magnetic resonance imaging with high-dose gadolinium

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Feb;130(2):229-32. doi: 10.1001/archotol.130.2.229.


Sudden idiopathic unilateral loss of vestibular function without other signs or symptoms is called acute vestibular neuritis. It has been suggested that reactivation of human herpes simplex virus 1 could cause vestibular neuritis, Bell palsy, and sudden unilateral hearing loss. Enhancement of the facial nerve on gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common finding in Bell palsy, but enhancement of the vestibular nerve has never been reported in acute vestibular neuritis. We present 2 consecutive cases of acute vestibular neuritis where high-field-strength MRI (3.0 T) with high-dose (0.3 mmol/kg of body weight) gadolinium-pentetic acid showed isolated enhancement of the vestibular nerve on the affected side only. These findings support the hypothesis of a viral and inflammatory cause of acute vestibular neuritis and might have implications for its treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vestibular Nerve / pathology
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / diagnosis*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA