[Audiovestibular manifestations in systemic vasculitis]

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 2009 Nov-Dec;60(6):432-42. doi: 10.1016/j.otorri.2009.01.012. Epub 2009 Sep 20.
[Article in Spanish]


Systemic vasculitides constitute a heterogeneous group of diseases with frequent overlapping in their clinical findings and the size of the vessels involved. They may be primary or secondary to other diseases. Their common characteristic is the inflammation of blood vessels, giving rise to ischaemia. In the present article, we have reviewed the most common audiovestibular features that may be observed in patients with systemic vasculitides. Audiovestibular manifestations may be the first symptom of a systemic vasculitis. Audiological manifestations include sudden hearing loss and progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Vertigo and nystagmus are vestibular symptoms that may be observed in several systemic vasculitides. Vestibular loss in caloric test, abnormal head-shaking nystagmus, head thrust test and positioning test (benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo) may also be found. Improvement of audiovestibular function is frequently observed in patients with giant cell arteritis following corticosteroid therapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / drug therapy
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Ear, Inner / blood supply
  • Ear, Inner / immunology
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / complications
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / etiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology*
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Systemic Vasculitis / classification
  • Systemic Vasculitis / complications*
  • Systemic Vasculitis / diagnosis
  • Systemic Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Systemic Vasculitis / immunology
  • Systemic Vasculitis / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / diagnosis
  • Vertigo / etiology*
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Function Tests


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones