Introduction: Bilateral vestibular areflexia is a rare pathological entity whose most frequent etiology is drug ototoxicity. We report an unusual case of bilateral vestibular areflexia complicating acute otitis media through which we raise the difficulties of diagnosis and therapeutic management of this pathology.
Case Report: 57-year-old Tunisian patient who consults for a loss balance associated with earache and hearing loss. Initial clinical examination revealed bilateral acute otitis media with a right harmonious vestibular syndrome and normal neurological examination. The diagnosis of post-otitis labyrinthitis was retained. The patient was put on antibiotics and corticosteroids. The evolution was marked by the persistence of instability in darkness and oscillopsia; vestibular explorations concluded with bilateral vestibular areflexia. MRI concluded to posterior labyrinthitis and eliminated central neurological involvement. The patient was kept under betahistine. The tympanic cavity was drained by a tympanic aerator on both sides. Vestibular rehabilitation was started quickly. Gradual improvement was obtained of autonomy with persistent oscillopsia.
Conclusion: Bilateral vestibular areflexia poses diagnostic problems based on anamnestic and clinical arguments and vestibular explorations. The therapeutic management is delicate, vestibular reeducation occupies a primordial place.