Nystagmus in enlarged vestibular aqueduct: a case series

  • Judith White | WHITEJ3@ccf.org Cleveland Clinic, United States.
  • Paul Krakovitz Cleveland Clinic, United States.


Enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA) is one of the commonly identified congenital temporal bone abnormalities associated with sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing loss may be unilateral or bilateral, and typically presents at birth or in early childhood. Vestibular symptoms have been reported in up to 50% of affected individuals, and may be delayed in onset until adulthood. The details of nystagmus in patients with EVA have not been previously reported. The objectives were to describe the clinical history, vestibular test findings and nystagmus seen in a case series of patients with enlarged vestibular aqueduct anomaly. Chart review, included computed tomography temporal bones, infrared nystagmography with positional and positioning testing, caloric testing, rotary chair and vibration testing. Clinical history and nystagmus varied among the five patients in this series. All patients were initially presumed to have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, but repositioning treatments were not effective, prompting referral, further testing and evaluation. In three patients with longstanding vestibular complaints, positional nystagmus was consistently present. One patient had distinct recurrent severe episodes of positional nystagmus. Nystagmus was unidirectional and horizontal. In one case horizontal nystagmus was consistently reproducible with seated head turn to the affected side, and reached 48 d/s. Nystagmus associated with enlarged vestibular aqueduct is often positional, and can be confused with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Unexplained vestibular symptoms in patients with unilateral or bilateral sensorineural hearing loss should prompt diagnostic consideration of EVA.



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vertigo, enlarged vestibular aqueduct, nystagmus.
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How to Cite
White, J., & Krakovitz, P. (2015). Nystagmus in enlarged vestibular aqueduct: a case series. Audiology Research, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/audiores.2015.120