Pyykko, I; Zou, J

Do viruses cause inner ear disturbances? Journal Article

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec, 70 , pp. 32-40; discussion 40-1, 2008, ISSN: 1423-0275.

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The association of viral infection to inner ear disease is controversial. Experiments on animals show that several viruses are capable of causing hearing loss, if applied into the perilymph. Some of these have specific affinity to the cellular type of the inner ear, as sensory epithelia and cochlear nerve. Some viruses as adenoviruses and Coxsackie virus B have specific CAR receptors that are identified in different cell types, whereas other act by attaching onto nonspecific cellular surface receptors. Some viruses such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) do not cause disease in rodents. We assessed 273 patients with clinical, serological, neuro-otologic and endoscopic evaluations. Of the 273 patients, 43 served as control subjects. The patients either had M'eni`eretextquoterights disease (n = 158), recurrent vertigo of unknown etiology (n = 56), or hearing loss (n = 17). Antibodies against neurotropic and common viruses were evaluated. VZV, influenza B, CBV5 and RSV titers were significantly elevated in patients with inner ear disease when compared with the control group. In analyzing the internal relationship, VZV and influenza B were intercorrelated. We did not find a correlation between hearing loss and viral titers. In conclusion, VZV, Coxsackie virus B5 and influenza B virus may be the main causes of inner ear disorder. The spiral and Scarpatextquoterights ganglion are potential sites harboring viral DNA for possible latent infection.