The impact of vestibular symptoms and electronystagmography results on recovery from sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Gaelle Vofo*, Marrigje Aagje De Jong, Michal Kaufman, Julia Meyler, Ron Eliashar, Menachem Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) represents a frequently encountered otological entity, of various types and severity, with an array of associated symptoms including vertigo. This is a devastating life-changing condition with a blurry prognosis. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical association of vestibular impairment by electronystagmography (ENG) and caloric tests, and their ability to predict prognosis. Methods: An observational, crossectional study was carried out amongst patients admitted with SSNHL. Each consenting patient had an audiometry test performed on admission as well as ENG and caloric tests. Treatment included oral steroids and carbogen with intratympanic steroids used only as salvage treatment. Follow-up was completed after 6 months when hearing gains were evaluated. Finally, an association was sought between the rate of recovery and ENG and caloric test results. Results: Of 35 patients included, marked recovery was seen in patients without vertigo when compared to those with vertigo (p=0.003). A statistically significant association was found between the presence of vertigo and hearing deterioration (p=0.008). More so, normal electronystagmography results were associated with marked recovery (p=0.04). Conclusions: The vestibular end organs are both subjectively and objectively affected in SSNHL as demonstrated by the abnormal ENG and caloric tests in our study despite the small sample size. Concomitant vestibular involvement carries poorer prognosis and routine identification may help foresee the recovery of patients with SSNHL and as such, aid in patient counseling. ENG and caloric tests are easily available and may be recommended for all patients with SSNHL.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)489-494
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • electronystagmography
  • sudden sensorineural hearing loss
  • vertigo
  • vestibular function tests
  • vestibulopathy


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