Sudden idiopathic unilateral loss of vestibular function without other signs or symptoms is called acute vestibular neuritis. It has been suggested that reactivation of human herpes simplex virus 1 could cause vestibular neuritis, Bell palsy, and sudden unilateral hearing loss. Enhancement of the facial nerve on gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common finding in Bell palsy, but enhancement of the vestibular nerve has never been reported in acute vestibular neuritis. We present 2 consecutive cases of acute vestibular neuritis where high-field-strength MRI (3.0 T) with high-dose (0.3 mmol/kg of body weight) gadolinium–pentetic acid showed isolated enhancement of the vestibular nerve on the affected side only. These findings support the hypothesis of a viral and inflammatory cause of acute vestibular neuritis and might have implications for its treatment.
Karlberg M, Annertz M, Magnusson M. Acute Vestibular Neuritis Visualized by 3-T Magnetic Resonance Imaging With High-Dose Gadolinium. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(2):229-232. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.2.229