3D MRI of the membranous labyrinth. An age related comparison of MR findings in patients with labyrinthine fibrosis and in persons without inner ear symptoms. (1/298)

PURPOSE: We compared MRI of the membranous labyrinth in patients with chronic non-neoplastic inner ear disease and MR signs of labyrinthine fibrosis and controls depending on their age, in order to establish whether there were any MR differences regarding patient age groups, control age groups and between the patients and controls themselves. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinical ENT examinations as well as a T2* weighted 3D CISS (Constructive Interference in Steady State) sequence with a slice thickness of 0.7 mm were performed. Our collective was subdivided as follows: 0-19 years (10 controls, 3 patients with chronic non-neoplastic inner ear disease), 20-49 years (55 controls, 8 patients), 50 years and older (40 controls, 22 patients). Detectability of labyrinthine structures (e.g. cochlea, vestibule, semicircular canals) and filling defects were evaluated. RESULTS: In the 3 age-groups of the control collective no significant differences were observed in the membranous labyrinth. However differences concerning labyrinthine detectability emerged between controls and patients in both the 20-49 years and 50 years and older age groups. In the patient collective the 3 age groups showed no significant discrepancy in the mean number of lesions. CONCLUSION: Filling defects of the membranous labyrinth on 3D CISS MR images are pathological even in older persons. We would therefore recommend high resolution T2* weighted MRI in the case of suspected labyrinthine fibrosis.  (+info)

Pontine lesions mimicking acute peripheral vestibulopathy. (2/298)

OBJECTIVES: Clinical signs of acute peripheral vestibulopathy (APV) were repeatedly reported with pontine lesions. The clinical relevance of such a mechanism is not known, as most studies were biased by patients with additional clinical signs ofbrainstem dysfunction. METHODS: Masseter reflex (MassR), blink reflex (BlinkR), brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs), and DC electro-oculography (EOG) were tested in 232 consecutive patients with clinical signs of unilateral APV. RESULTS: Forty five of the 232 patients (19.4%) had at least one electrophysiological abnormality suggesting pontine dysfunction mainly due to possible vertebrobasilar ischaemia (22 patients) and multiple sclerosis (eight patients). MassR abnormalities were seen in 24 patients, and EOG abnormalities of saccades and following eye movements occurred in 22 patients. Three patients had BlinkR-R1 abnormalities, and one had delayed BAEP waves IV and V. Clinical improvement was almost always (32 of 34 re-examined patients) associated with improvement or normalisation of at least one electrophysiological abnormality. Brain MRI was done in 25 of the 44 patients and confirmed pontine lesions in six (two infarcts, three inflammations, one tumour). CONCLUSIONS: Pontine dysfunction was suggested in 45 of 232 consecutive patients with clinical signs of APV on the basis of abnormal electrophysiological findings, and was mainly attributed to brainstem ischaemia and multiple sclerosis. The frequency of pontine lesions mimicking APV is underestimated if based on MRI established lesions only.  (+info)

EMG responses to free fall in elderly subjects and akinetic rigid patients. (3/298)

OBJECTIVES: The EMG startle response to free fall was studied in young and old normal subjects, patients with absent vestibular function, and patients with akinetic-rigid syndromes. The aim was to detect any derangement in this early phase of the "landing response" in patient groups with a tendency to fall. In normal subjects the characteristics of a voluntary muscle contraction (tibialis anterior) was also compared when evoked by a non-startling sound and by the free fall startle. METHODS: Subjects lay supine on a couch which was unexpectedly released into free fall. Latencies of multiple surface EMG recordings to the onset of free fall, detected by a head mounted linear accelerometer, were measured. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: (1) EMG responses in younger normal subjects occurred at: sternomastoid 54 ms, abdominals 69 ms, quadriceps 78 ms, deltoid 80 ms, and tibialis anterior 85 ms. This pattern of muscle activation, which is not a simple rostrocaudal progression, may be temporally/spatially organised in the startle brainstem centres. (2) Voluntary tibialis EMG activation was earlier and stronger in response to a startling stimulus (fall) than in response to a non-startling stimulus (sound). This suggests that the startle response can be regarded as a reticular mechanism enhancing motor responsiveness. (3) Elderly subjects showed similar activation sequences but delayed by about 20 ms. This delay is more than can be accounted for by slowing of central and peripheral motor conduction, therefore suggesting age dependent delay in central processing. (4) Avestibular patients had normal latencies indicating that the free fall startle can be elicited by non-vestibular inputs. (5) Latencies in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were normal whereas responses were earlier in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) and delayed or absent in patients with Steele-Richardson-Olszewski (SRO) syndrome. The findings in this patient group suggest: (1) lack of dopaminergic influence on the timing of the startle response, (2) concurrent cerebellar involvement in MSA may cause startle disinhibition, and (3) extensive reticular damage in SRO severely interferes with the response to free fall.  (+info)

Sympathetic contralateral vestibulopathy after unilateral zoster oticus. (4/298)

A unique case of initially right sided varicella zoster induced Ramsay-Hunt syndrome with complete vestibular loss is reported. The patient subsequently developed deficits of the left vestibule 5 months later. An autoimmune pathogenesis of the left vestibular failure rather than bilateral varicella zoster infection was suggested by the following data: (1) no evidence of vesicular eruptions on the left auricle and the virtual absence of antiviral antibodies after onset of bilateral vestibulopathy; (2) prompt response of the left vestibule to immunosuppressive therapy with corticosteroids; and (3) presence of atypical nervous tissue specific autoantibodies against a 45 kDa protein.  (+info)

Probability of bilateral disease in people presenting with a unilateral vestibular schwannoma. (5/298)

BACKGROUND: Some 4%-5% of those who develop vestibular schwannomas have neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Although about 10% of these patients present initially with a unilateral vestibular schwannoma, the risk for a patient with a truly sporadic vestibular schwannoma developing contralateral disease is unknown. METHODS: A United Kingdom survey of 296 patients with NF2 was reviewed for laterality of vestibular schwannoma at presentation and the presence of other NF2 related features. The time to presentation of bilateral disease was calculated for patients presenting with a unilateral tumour. Mutation analysis of the NF2 gene was carried out on all available cases presenting initially with unilateral disease. RESULTS: Of 240 patients with NF2 with vestibular schwannomas, 45 (18%; 32 sporadic, 13 familial) had either a unilateral tumour or delay in detection between the first and contralateral tumours. Among those tested for NF2 mutations, eight of 27 and nine of 13 were identified among sporadic and familial cases respectively. Sporadic cases showed a high female to male ratio and 19 of 32 have not as yet developed a contralateral tumour (mean 4.1 years after diagnosis of the first). Thirteen of 32 sporadic patients developed a contralateral tumour (mean 6.5 years after the first tumour diagnosis, range 0-22 years) compared with 11 of 13 familial patients (mean delay 5 years, range 0-16 years). Seven of the 45 patients had neither a family history of NF2 nor evidence of related tumours at initial presentation (six before the age of 35 years). CONCLUSION: The risk of patients with sporadic unilateral vestibular schwannomata developing a contralateral tumour in the absence of family history or other features of NF2 is low, but those presenting with other neurogenic tumours in addition to vestibular schwannoma are at high risk of harbouring an NF2 mutation in at least a proportion of their somatic cells.  (+info)

Postural characteristics of diabetic neuropathy. (6/298)

OBJECTIVE: To explore the posturographic correlates of diabetic neuropathy by comparing the performances of three groups of diabetic patients (severe, moderate, and absent neuropathy) with those of normal subjects and four clinical control groups. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Using the Interactive Balance System (Tetrax, Ramat Gan, Israel), based on the assessment of the interaction of vertical pressure fluctuations on four independent platforms, one for each heel and toe part, respectively, posturographic examinations were given to 28 diabetic patients (8 with severe, 12 with moderate, and 8 with no peripheral neuropathy), 30 normal control subjects, and a clinical control group of 52 patients (14 with stage II Parkinson's disease, 13 with brain damage, 7 with whiplash, and 19 with peripheral vestibular pathology). The following posturographic parameters were evaluated; 1) general stability; 2) Fourier analysis showing patterns of sway intensity within eight frequency bands between 0.1 and 3 Hz; 3) weight distribution; 4) synchronization of sway; and 5) performance patterns for eight positions, requiring closure of eyes and standing on an elastic surface, as well as left, right, back, and downward head turns. RESULTS: For positions with closed eyes, diabetic patients with severe and moderate neuropathy were significantly less stable than normal subjects and diabetic patients without neuropathy, but diabetic patients with severe and moderate neuropathy turned out to be as equally unstable as clinical control subjects. However, for sway intensity within the band of 0.5 to 1.00 Hz on positions with lateral head turn with occluded vision, neuropathic diabetic patients performed significantly worse than did both normal and clinical control subjects. The same posturographic parameter also differed significantly between normal subjects and diabetic patients without neuropathy. CONCLUSIONS: As reported in previous studies, general instability in diabetic neuropathy is not a sufficiently characteristic correlate of the syndrome. On the other hand, spectral analysis of sway on stressful positions involving head turning appears to differentiate diabetic neuropathy from other disorders involving postural disturbances.  (+info)

A new mouse insertional mutation that causes sensorineural deafness and vestibular defects. (7/298)

This article describes a new recessive insertional mutation in the transgenic line TgN2742Rpw that causes deafness and circling behavior in mice. Histologic analysis revealed virtually complete loss of the cochlear neuroepithelium (the organ of Corti) in adult mutant mice. In association with the neuroepithelial changes, there is a dramatic reduction of the cochlear nerve supply. Adult mutants also show morphological defects of the vestibular apparatus, including degeneration of the saccular neuroepithelium and occasional malformation of utricular otoconia. Audiometric evaluations demonstrated that the mice displaying the circling phenotype are completely deaf. Molecular analysis of this mutant line revealed that the transgenic insertion occurred without creating a large deletion of the host DNA sequences. The mutant locus was mapped to a region on mouse chromosome 10, where other spontaneous, recessive mutations causing deafness in mice have been mapped.  (+info)

Influence of surgical plugging on horizontal semicircular canal mechanics and afferent response dynamics. (8/298)

Mechanical occlusion of one or more of the semicircular canals is a surgical procedure performed clinically to treat certain vestibular disorders and used experimentally to assess individual contributions of separate canals and/or otoliths to vestibular neural pathways. The present experiments were designed to determine if semicircular canal afferent nerve modulation to angular head acceleration is blocked by occlusion of the endolymphatic duct, and if not, what mechanism(s) might account for a persistent afferent response. The perilymphatic space was opened to gain acute access to the horizontal canal (HC) in the oyster toadfish, Opsanus tau. Firing rate responses of HC afferents to sinusoidal whole-body rotation were recorded in the unoccluded control condition, during the process of duct occlusion, and in the plugged condition. The results show that complete occlusion of the duct did not block horizontal canal sensitivity; individual afferents often exhibited a robust firing rate modulation in response to whole-body rotation in the plugged condition. At high stimulus frequencies (about >8 Hz) the average sensitivity (afferent gain; spikes/s per degrees /s of head velocity) in the plugged condition was nearly equal to that observed for unoccluded controls in the same animals. At low stimulus frequencies (about <0.1 Hz), the average sensitivity in the plugged condition was attenuated by more than two orders of magnitude relative to unoccluded controls. The peak afferent firing rate for sinusoidal stimuli was phase advanced approximately 90 degrees in plugged canals relative to their control counterparts for stimulus frequencies approximately 0.1-2 Hz. Data indicate that afferents normally sensitive to angular velocity in the control condition became sensitive to angular acceleration in the plugged condition, whereas afferents sensitive to angular acceleration in the control condition became sensitive to the derivative of acceleration or angular jerk in the plugged condition. At higher frequencies (>8 Hz), the phase of afferents in the plugged condition became nearly equal, on average, to that observed in controls. A three-dimensional biomechanical model of the HC was developed to interpret the residual response in the plugged condition. Labyrinthine fluids were modeled as incompressible and Newtonian; the membranous duct, osseous canal and temporal bone were modeled as visco-elastic materials. The predicted attenuation and phase shift in cupular responses were in close agreement with the observed changes in afferent response dynamics after canal plugging. The model attributes the response of plugged canals to labyrinthine fluid pressure gradients that lead to membranous duct deformation, a spatial redistribution of labyrinthine fluids and cupular displacement. Validity of the model was established through its ability to predict: the relationship between plugged canal responses and unoccluded controls (present study), the relationship between afferent responses recorded during mechanical indentation of the membranous duct and physiological head rotation, the magnitude and phase of endolymphatic pressure generated during HC duct indentation, and previous model results for cupular gain and phase in the rigid-duct case. The same model was adjusted to conform to the morphology of the squirrel monkey and of the human to investigate the possible influence of canal plugging in primates. Membranous duct stiffness and perilymphatic cavity stiffness were identified as the most salient model parameters. Simulations indicate that canal plugging may be the most effective in relatively small species having small labyrinths, stiff round windows, and stiff bony perilymphatic enclosures.  (+info)