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Postmortem examination of the brain and temporal bones of a patient with well-documented vestibular neuritis showed selective neuronal loss in Scarpatextquoterights ganglia on the side with absent caloric response. There was loss of hair cells and an "epithelialization" of the utricular macule and semicircular canal cristae on the deafferented side, and synaptic density in the vestibular nuclei on the deafferented side was decreased compared with that on the normal side. All findings were consistent with an isolated viral infection of Scarpatextquoterights ganglia. This is the first description of the effects of chronic deafferentation on the vestibular sensory epithelia and the vestibular nuclei in a human being.