Video_4_Case Report: Could Hennebert's Sign Be Evoked Despite Global Vestibular Impairment on Video Head Impulse Test? Considerations Upon Pathomechan.MP4 (5.24 MB)
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Video_4_Case Report: Could Hennebert's Sign Be Evoked Despite Global Vestibular Impairment on Video Head Impulse Test? Considerations Upon Pathomechanisms Underlying Pressure-Induced Nystagmus due to Labyrinthine Fistula.MP4

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posted on 29.03.2021, 04:26 by Andrea Castellucci, Cecilia Botti, Margherita Bettini, Ignacio Javier Fernandez, Pasquale Malara, Salvatore Martellucci, Francesco Maria Crocetta, Martina Fornaciari, Francesca Lusetti, Luigi Renna, Giovanni Bianchin, Enrico Armato, Angelo Ghidini

We describe a case series of labyrinthine fistula, characterized by Hennebert's sign (HS) elicited by tragal compression despite global hypofunction of semicircular canals (SCs) on a video-head impulse test (vHIT), and review the relevant literature. All three patients presented with different amounts of cochleo-vestibular loss, consistent with labyrinthitis likely induced by labyrinthine fistula due to different temporal bone pathologies (squamous cell carcinoma involving the external auditory canal in one case and middle ear cholesteatoma in two cases). Despite global hypofunction on vHIT proving impaired function for each SC for high accelerations, all patients developed pressure-induced nystagmus, presumably through spared and/or recovered activity for low-velocity canal afferents. In particular, two patients with isolated horizontal SC fistula developed HS with ipsilesional horizontal nystagmus due to resulting excitatory ampullopetal endolymphatic flows within horizontal canals. Conversely, the last patient with bony erosion involving all SCs developed mainly torsional nystagmus directed contralaterally due to additional inhibitory ampullopetal flows within vertical canals. Moreover, despite impaired measurements on vHIT, we found simultaneous direction-changing positional nystagmus likely due to a buoyancy mechanism within the affected horizontal canal in a case and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo involving the dehiscent posterior canal in another case. Based on our findings, we might suggest a functional dissociation between high (impaired) and low (spared/recovered) accelerations for SCs. Therefore, it could be hypothesized that HS in labyrinthine fistula might be due to the activation of regular ampullary fibers encoding low-velocity inputs, as pressure-induced nystagmus is perfectly aligned with the planes of dehiscent SCs in accordance with Ewald's laws, despite global vestibular impairment on vHIT. Moreover, we showed how pressure-induced nystagmus could present in a rare case of labyrinthine fistulas involving all canals simultaneously. Nevertheless, definite conclusions on the genesis of pressure-induced nystagmus in our patients are prevented due to the lack of objective measurements of both low-acceleration canal responses and otolith function.

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