Episodic Vestibular Symptoms in Children With a Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: A Case Series.

Research paper by Cleo C Dhondt, Leen L Maes, Ann A Oostra, Ingeborg I Dhooge

Indexed on: 30 Dec '19Published on: 29 May '19Published in: Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology


Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection is the most common non-genetic cause of sensorineural hearing loss in children. Although cCMV-induced vestibular loss is demonstrated in several studies, the occurrence of vertigo has been described in only two cases to date. The aim of this paper is to discuss the underlying pathophysiology of recurrent vestibular symptoms in children with cCMV, based on five cases investigated in our center and an extensive research of the literature. Retrospective case series. Tertiary referral center. This case series describes five pediatric cCMV-patients (three boys, two girls). Four of them were symptomatic at birth, one was asymptomatic. Three patients underwent cochlear implantation. The age of onset of the vestibular symptoms varied from 2;0 to 7;3 years of age. None. Details regarding the patient history and results of cranial imaging, audiological, vestibular, and neurological assessments were collected retrospectively. The selected cases suffered from recurrent vestibular symptoms. All patients had delayed onset, fluctuating, and/or progressive hearing loss. In all cases, the attacks were accompanied with nausea and vomiting and occurred without clear-cut trigger. Migraine and epilepsy often were proposed as first diagnosis, although they could not be confirmed eventually. Four out of five patients were diagnosed with a peripheral vestibular deficit. Diagnosis of vestibular symptoms in children with cCMV is complex, given the multiple morbidities than can occur. Peripheral vestibular causes should be considered in the diagnosis, as important vestibular deficits are demonstrated in this population.