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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
January 2002

Diagnosis Radiology Quiz Case 1

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(1):82. doi:

Labyrinthitis and sensorineural hearing loss are common problems in the otolaryngological practice. Although viral and autoimmune factors have been linked to labyrinthitis and acute sensorineural hearing loss, the pathogenesis is frequently unknown. Clinically, 25% to 33% of cases of sensorineural hearing loss are preceded by an upper respiratory infection; 90% of the cases are unilateral; and 30% to 70% of the patients recover hearing.1 Because isolation of the virus from other sites, such as the nasopharynx, does not necessarily indicate that the virus caused the inner ear damage, it has been difficult to demonstrate viral causality.2 Viruses that have been linked to sensorineural hearing loss and vestibular neuritis include cytomegalovirus, rubella, rubeola (measles), mumps, influenza, and parainfluenza virus.1,2 It has been hypothesized that adenovirus and rhinovirus may cause hearing loss as well.1