Congenital Inner Ear Abnormalities and COVID-19-Related Ear Infections

Ear Nose Throat J. 2022 Aug;101(7):NP308-NP310. doi: 10.1177/0145561320968934. Epub 2020 Oct 23.


Congenital deformities of the labyrinth of the inner ear may be associated with an increased risk of infection and varying degrees of otologic and vestibular dysfunction. Lateral semicircular canal abnormalities specifically can be associated with either normal hearing or hearing loss (conductive or sensorineural). In our patient, the acute symptoms of vertigo and tinnitus coincided with the diagnosis of COVID-19. It is unlikely that the symptomatology was related to the acute infection, even in the face of the underlying congenital abnormality. It has been shown that there is no correlation between the severity of the radiological abnormality and vestibular symptomatology in patients with isolated abnormalities of the semicircular canals. The abnormality can be asymptomatic.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Otitis*
  • Semicircular Canals / abnormalities
  • Vertigo / etiology
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth*