J Am Acad Audiol 2020; 31(05): 363-368
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.19034
Case Report
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2020) American Academy of Audiology

Acute Vertigo in a Patient with Long-Term Organic Solvent Exposure: Importance of a Comprehensive Audio-Vestibular Test Battery

Maxime Maheu
1   École d'Orthophonie et d'Audiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
François Champoux
1   École d'Orthophonie et d'Audiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
2   Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Adrian Fuente
1   École d'Orthophonie et d'Audiologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
2   Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
› Author Affiliations
Funding This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
09 June 2020 (online)


Background Ototoxicity induced by organic solvents has been identified in several groups of workers. Little is known, however, about the effects of organic solvents on the vestibular system.

Purpose The aim of the study was to comprehensively assess the vestibular system and auditory functions in a worker exposed to organic solvents.

Research Design Both behavioral and physiological auditory and vestibular evaluations were performed.

Results No auditory-related findings associated with solvent exposure were found. The vestibulo-ocular reflex gain was abnormal for all semicircular canals with significant catch-up saccades, as measured by the video head impulse test. The cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials was absent in the right ear and small but replicable in the left ear. Ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential were bilaterally absent.

Conclusions The results suggest a case of vestibulotoxicity induced by a long history of organic solvent exposure. We suggest that solvent-exposed individuals should be evaluated with a comprehensive battery of auditory and vestibular tests.

Authors’ Contributions

M.M., F.C., and A.F. designed and performed the experiment. A.F. and M.M. performed data analysis. M.M., F.C., and A.F. wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and implications and commented on the manuscript at all stages.

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