Author(s): Kim JS, Lopez I, DiPatre PL, Liu F, Ishiyama A,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To study the pathophysiology of labyrinthine infarction. BACKGROUND: The syndrome of sudden onset vertigo or hearing loss is commonly attributed to inner ear vascular disease, yet histologic studies of isolated labyrinthine infarction in humans have been rare and have not included a complete examination of the vertebrobasilar vascular system. METHODS: Temporal bones, brainstem, cerebellum, and the supplying blood vessels were subjected to gross and microscopic postmortem examinations in a 92-year-old woman who had a sudden onset of vertigo and hearing loss in the right ear 7 years before death. RESULTS: There were prominent atherosclerotic changes at the vertebrobasilar junction, but the internal auditory artery and its branches were patent on both sides. Histologic studies showed degenerative changes in the cochlea and vestibular labyrinth on the right. The posterior canal ampulla and saccular macule were relatively preserved showing partial areas of intact sensory epithelium with underlying nerve fibers. The right vestibulocochlear nerve showed a fibrotic scar and multiple patchy areas of degeneration. These findings are most consistent with a transient period of reduced perfusion of the internal auditory artery. CONCLUSION: The partial sparing of the inferior vestibular labyrinth may indicate a decreased vulnerability to ischemia because of its better collateral blood supply.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy