In this article, Dr. Douglas Lanska of the Great Lakes VA Healthcare System and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health explains the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, prevention, diagnostic work-up, and management of labyrinthine infarction.
Although a variety of conditions can cause labyrinthine ischemia, labyrinthine infarction most commonly occurs in the setting of thromboembolic disease of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery or the basilar artery, and almost all of these cases present with acute prolonged vertigo and vestibular dysfunction of peripheral, central, or combined origin. Unlike labyrinthine dysfunction from a viral cause, the most common pattern of dysfunction with labyrinthine infarction includes a combined loss of auditory and vestibular function. Canal paresis associated with posterior circulation ischemic stroke, usually within the territory of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery, typically normalizes within 5 years.
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