Objective: The aim of this review was to analyze the existing literature concerning the relationship between Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) and vestibular dysfunction.
Methods: We used electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library) to search and collect all published articles about the association between HT and vestibular disorders.
Results: Several observational and retrospective studies have postulated a relationship between thyroid autoimmunity and vestibular disorders. In most cases, an appropriate control group was lacking, and the impact of thyroid functional status could not precisely be established. In recent years, two well-designed prospective studies have provided convincing evidence that the association is not random. One article reported that patients with Ménière disease (MD) had a significantly higher prevalence of positive anti-thyroid autoantibody as compared to healthy controls. Moreover, more than half of MD patients had either positive anti-thyroid or non-organ-specific autoantibody titers, compared to less than 30% of both patients with unilateral vestibular paresis without cochlear involvement and healthy controls. Another study found that patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) had significantly higher serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and antithyroid autoantibody levels than healthy controls. Additionally, almost one-fifth of euthyroid patients with HT had signs of BPPV.
Conclusion: The published results indicate that patients with MD or BPPV are potential candidates to also develop HT. Thus, in HT patients, the presence of even slight symptoms or signs potentially related to vestibular lesions should be carefully investigated.
Abbreviations: AITD = autoimmune thyroid disease; BPPV = benign paroxysmal positional vertigo; EH = endolymphatic hydrops; HT = Hashimoto thyroiditis; L-T4 = L-thyroxine; MD = Ménière disease; PS = Pendred syndrome; Tg = thyroglobulin; TPO = thyroid peroxidase; TSH = thyroid-stimulating hormone.