Susac syndrome

Medicine (Baltimore). 1998 Jan;77(1):3-11. doi: 10.1097/00005792-199801000-00002.


Susac syndrome is an occlusive arteriolar disease that provokes infarcts in the cochlea, retina, and brain of young subjects, mostly women. Its cause is unknown. Some infarcts may be asymptomatic and only revealed by ancillary investigation: 1) audiogram that shows bilateral sensorineural hearing loss predominating on low frequencies, 2) funduscopy and fluorescein retinal angiography demonstrating bilateral distal branch retinal artery occlusions, and 3) brain MRI T2-weighted images disclosing small multifocal hyperintensities in white and gray matter. Treatment options are not codified, ranging from antithrombotic drugs to immunomodulatory therapy. Course is self-limited after an active fluctuating phase. Dementia, blindness, and deafness are rare late sequelae, and half of patients return to normal life.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Brain Diseases* / pathology
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods
  • GABA Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion* / drug therapy
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion* / pathology
  • Syndrome
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • GABA Agents
  • Valproic Acid
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone