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February 1959

Sudden Deafness Due to Cerebellopontine-Angle Tumor

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
Section of Otolaryngology and Rhinology (Dr. Hallberg), Section of Neurologic Surgery (Dr. Uihlein), and Section of Neurology (Dr. Siekert), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;69(2):160-162. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730030166006

The sudden loss of hearing by an apparently healthy person is an unusually alarming symptom. Roaring tinnitus is almost always associated, and true vertigo may be associated. A careful history has to be taken, however, in order to determine whether the deafness actually came on suddenly. Deafness may and occasionally does come on like "a bolt from the sky." When this does occur, the deafness is likely to be associated with vascular changes, such as atherosclerosis,1 and is often, but not always, total and permanent.

Since sudden deafness is seldom associated with an immediate fatal event or disease, factual information about the pathologic process underlying the loss of function is obscure.2 Several causative factors are suggested, however: (1) vascular changes such as thrombosis, spasm or hemorrhage of the auditory apparatus; (2) toxic involvement of the cochlea or eighth nerve; (3) neuritis of the eighth nerve; (4) systemic diseases,