J Korean Bal Soc.  2003 Dec;2(2):202-205.

Evaluation of Vestibular Function in Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Gil Medical Center, Gachon Medical School, Korea. Han@ghil.com
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Inha University, College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Ramsay Hunt syndrome is herpes zoster of the facial nerve, frequently associated with VIII cranial nerve involvement, but on rare occasions other cranial nerves are affected as well. We tried to show that Ramsay Hunt symdrome should be recognized as a cranial polyneuropathy characterized by damage to cranial nerves, especially the facial nerve and the auditory-vestibular nerve. MATERIALS AND METHOD: 11patients suffered from auricular vesicles, otalgia, facial palsy, and vertigo. Group A included 8 patients of acute peripheral vestibulopathy with Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Group B included only 3patients of Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Each patient received a battery of tests, including neurological examination, audiometry, vestibular function test.
The lesion site of Ramsay HHhhunt syndrome was right in 5cases and left in 6cases. Electronystagmography showed 3cases of right acute peripheral vestibulopathy, 5cases of left, and 3cases of disequilibrium. Site of Ramsay hunt syndrome and that of vestibulopathy was same in 8cases of Group A. 3cases was observed in Ramsay Hunt syndrome patients that hearing loss and vestibulopathy was same site. Facail nerve palsy improved without recovery of vestibular function. Cranial examination and imaging study like brain CT or temporal MRI showed no abnormal finding.
Although Ramsay Hunt syndrome usually presents with the classical triad of pain, vesicles and facial nerve paralysis, it must be kept in mind that it is a cranial polyneuropathy. In our study, there was few association between facial nerve palsy recovery and acute peripheral vestibulopathy.


Ramsay Hunt syndrome; Polyneuropathy
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