[Inaugural audiovisual impairment disclosing specific neurological disorders]

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2010 Dec;166(12):1017-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2010.08.006. Epub 2010 Nov 30.
[Article in French]


The association of visual and auditory impairments, simultaneously or consecutively, is a rare condition at the onset of neurological diseases. To determine whether audiovisual impairment can be associated with a specific group of neurological disorders at onset, we performed a prospective study of 307 patients over 6 months in a specialized neurological unit in inflammatory diseases. Six patients (2%) experienced inaugural audiovisual impairments. The mean age of patients at onset was 39.5 ± 14.7 years, with a male:female ratio of 1:2. Both deficiencies were reported in three cases, including loss of visual acuity with tinnitus (two cases) or hearing loss (one case). Initial visual dysfunction, characterised by loss of visual acuity, was noted in one patient. Initial auditory impairment, characterised by dizziness and hearing loss, was noted in two patients. The mean interval between the occurrence of visual and auditory impairments was 3.8 ± 4.3 months. A neurological diagnosis was made in four cases (67%) at a mean time of 4.6 ± 4.6 months after disease onset. Visual impairments were optic neuritis for multiple sclerosis, serous retinal detachment for Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada's disease, a central retinal artery occlusion for Susac's syndrome and a retinal vasculitis for Cogan's syndrome. The systematic investigation of inaugural audiovisual impairment in young patients could help shorten the time to a specific neurological diagnosis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cogan Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / complications
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Optic Neuritis / diagnosis
  • Optic Neuritis / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology
  • Susac Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / complications
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology