Vestibular Dysfunction in Patients with Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct

Chris K. Zalewski, Wade W. Chien, Kelly A. King, Julie A. Muskett, Rachel E. Baron, John A. Butman, Andrew J. Griffith, Carmen C. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA) is the most common inner ear malformation. While a strong correlative relationship between EVA and hearing loss is well established, its association with vestibular dysfunction is less well understood. In this study, we examine the effects of EVA on the vestibular system in patients with EVA. Study Design. Prospective, cross-sectional study of a cohort ascertained between 1999 and 2013. Setting. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, a federal biomedical research facility. Subjects and Methods. In total, 106 patients with unilateral or bilateral EVA, defined as a midpoint diameter greater than 1.5 mm, were referred or self-referred to participate in a study of the clinical and molecular aspects of EVA. Clinical history was ascertained with respect to the presence or absence of various vestibular signs and symptoms and history of head trauma. Videonystagmography (VNG), cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP), and rotational vestibular testing (RVT) were performed to assess the vestibular function. Results. Of the patients with EVA, 45% had vestibular signs and symptoms, and 44% of tested patients had abnormal VNG test results. An increased number of vestibular signs and symptoms was correlated with the presence of bilateral EVA (P = .008) and a history of head injury (P < .001). Abnormal VNG results also correlated with a history of head injury (P = .018). Conclusion. Vestibular dysfunction is common in patients with EVA. However, not all patients with vestibular signs and symptoms have abnormal vestibular test results. Clinicians should be aware of the high prevalence of vestibular dysfunction in patients with EVA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015


  • EVA
  • LVAS
  • RVT
  • VEMP
  • VNG
  • dizziness
  • enlarged vestibular aqueduct
  • hearing loss
  • vertigo
  • vestibular dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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