Some sources consider vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis to be the same thing (some differentiate based on auditory symptoms)


  • Infection of cochlear and vestibular apparatus (from middle ear via round/oval windows)
  • Acute suppurative labyrinthitis is only cause of peripheral vertigo requiring urgent treatment
  • Some sources consider vestibular Neuritis and labyrinthitis to be the same thing
    • Some differentiate based on auditory symptoms

Clinical Features

  • Peripheral vertigo + hearing loss + middle ear findings
    • Severity depends on type of labyrinthitis:
      • Acute suppurative labyrinthitis
      • Serous labyrinthitis
        • Caused by inflammatory response to nearby infections (including viral)
          • May find serous serous fluid behind tympanic membrane
        • Clinical course similar to Vestibular Neuritis (Neuronitis)

Differential Diagnosis



See Vertigo


  • Suppurative form requires antibiotics
  • Prochlorperazine 10mg PO q6 PRN for nausea/vomiting
  • Lorazepam OR diazepam as vestibular depressant
  • Bed rest and hydration
  • Corticosteroids controversial especially in concomitant suppurative form


  • Suppurative form require admission for definitive ENT treatment

See Also


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