Disorders of the auditory and vestibular system are often associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. However, the extent and nature of these vestibular manifestations are unclear.
To systematically review the current peer-reviewed literature on vestibular manifestations and pathology related to human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Systematic review of peer-reviewed articles related to vestibular findings in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Several electronic databases were searched.
We identified 442 records, reduced to 210 after excluding duplicates and reviews. These were reviewed for relevance to the scope of the study.
We identified only 13 reports investigating vestibular functioning and pathology in individuals affected by human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This condition can affect both the peripheral and central vestibular system, irrespective of age and viral disease stage. Peripheral vestibular involvement may affect up to 50 per cent of patients, and central vestibular involvement may be even more prevalent. Post-mortem studies suggest direct involvement of the entire vestibular system, while opportunistic infections such as oto- and neurosyphilis and encephalitis cause secondary vestibular dysfunction resulting in vertigo, dizziness and imbalance.
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome should routinely be monitored for vestibular involvement, to minimise functional limitations of quality of life.