Vertigo and autoimmunity

  • Roberto Bovo
  • Andrea Ciorba
  • Alessandro Martini
Review Article


Autoimmune inner ear disease probably accounts for less than 1% of all cases of balance disorders, but its incidence is often overlooked due to the absence of a specific diagnostic test. Furthermore, in several systemic autoimmune diseases the vestibulo-cochlear system may be affected. Clinical features comprise generalized imbalance, ataxia, motion intolerance, episodic vertigo and positional vertigo. An autoimmune mechanism seems to be responsible for 6% of unilateral and 16% of bilateral forms of Ménière’s disease. Oscillopsia and disequilibrium secondary to a bilateral vestibular paresis are probably caused by an autoimmune response in 5% of cases. Balance disorders of central origin may be due to other immuno-mediated disorders such as multiple sclerosis, brainstem encephalitis and vasculitidis. Aim of this paper is to assess the clinical features of autoimmune vertigo disorders through a systematic literature review.


Vertigo Hearing loss Autoimmunity Inner ear 


Conflict of interest statement

Authors declare that they do not have any financial conflict for this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Bovo
    • 1
  • Andrea Ciorba
    • 1
  • Alessandro Martini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Audiology and Speech PathologyUniversity Hospital of FerraraFerraraItaly

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