This paper describes the diagnostic criteria for Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy (AUVP), a synonym for vestibular neuritis, as defined by the Committee for the Classification of Vestibular Disorders of the Bárány Society. AUVP manifests as an acute vestibular syndrome due to an acute unilateral loss of peripheral vestibular function without evidence for acute central or acute audiological symptoms or signs. This implies that the diagnosis of AUVP is based on the patient history, bedside examination, and, if necessary, laboratory evaluation. The leading symptom is an acute or rarely subacute onset of spinning or non-spinning vertigo with unsteadiness, nausea/vomiting and/or oscillopsia. A leading clinical sign is a spontaneous peripheral vestibular nystagmus, which is direction-fixed and enhanced by removal of visual fixation with a trajectory appropriate to the semicircular canal afferents involved (generally horizontal-torsional). The diagnostic criteria were classified by the committee for four categories: 1. "Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy", 2. "Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy in Evolution", 3. "Probable Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy" and 4. "History of Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy". The specific diagnostic criteria for these are as follows:"Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy": A) Acute or subacute onset of sustained spinning or non-spinning vertigo (i.e., an acute vestibular syndrome) of moderate to severe intensity with symptoms lasting for at least 24 hours. B) Spontaneous peripheral vestibular nystagmus with a trajectory appropriate to the semicircular canal afferents involved, generally horizontal-torsional, direction-fixed, and enhanced by removal of visual fixation. C) Unambiguous evidence of reduced VOR function on the side opposite the direction of the fast phase of the spontaneous nystagmus. D) No evidence for acute central neurological, otological or audiological symptoms. E) No acute central neurological signs, namely no central ocular motor or central vestibular signs, in particular no pronounced skew deviation, no gaze-evoked nystagmus, and no acute audiologic or otological signs. F) Not better accounted for by another disease or disorder."Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy in Evolution": A) Acute or subacute onset of sustained spinning or non-spinning vertigo with continuous symptoms for more than 3 hours, but not yet lasting for at least 24 h hours, when patient is seen; B) - F) as above. This category is useful for diagnostic reasons to differentiate from acute central vestibular syndromes, to initiate specific treatments, and for research to include patients in clinical studies."Probable Acute Unilateral Vestibulopathy": Identical to AUVP except that the unilateral VOR deficit is not clearly observed or documented."History of acute unilateral vestibulopathy": A) History of acute or subacute onset of vertigo lasting at least 24 hours and slowly decreasing in intensity. B) No history of simultaneous acute audiological or central neurological symptoms. C) Unambiguous evidence of unilaterally reduced VOR function. D) No history of simultaneous acute central neurological signs, namely no central ocular motor or central vestibular signs and no acute audiological or otological signs. E) Not better accounted for by another disease or disorder. This category allows a diagnosis in patients presenting with a unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit and a history of an acute vestibular syndrome who are examined well after the acute phase.It is important to note that there is no definite test for AUVP. Therefore, its diagnosis requires the exclusion of central lesions as well as a variety of other peripheral vestibular disorders. Finally, this consensus paper will discuss other aspects of AUVP such as etiology, pathophysiology and laboratory examinations if they are directly relevant to the classification criteria.
Keywords: Acute unilateral vestibulopathy; acute vestibular syndrome; bárány society; international classification of vestibular disorders; vestibular neuritis; vestibular neuronitis.