Vascular Loop

15 years ago when all this rubbish kicked off, an MRI scan revealed I had a vascular loop. Just been googling and this can cause dizziness etc., even though every doctor I have seen in this time have all dismissed it.

Anyone else got one?

Yep, I gots one too.

The neurologist I saw long ago (specializing in dizziness) ordered an MRA as well as an MRI, to cover all bases (MS, vascular loop and who knows what else; acoustic neuroma had already been ruled out a year earlier, after my sudden hearing loss).

He was all excited about finding the vascular loop–except that it was on the WRONG side, opposite to my hearing loss! So there went THAT theory of his.

He said he thought my vascular loop was probably not the cause of my dizziness, and I agreed. There was a doctor or doctors in Pittsburgh, PA, who had a diagnosis they called (oddly) “disabling positional vertigo”; they would do surgeries to separate the blood vessel from the vestibular nerve. Not sure what their success rate was. It was similar to the surgery for trigeminal neuralgia when a blood vessel pressing on the nerve was the cause. Microvascular decompression, I think it was called (not sure).

How about you? What’s your vascular loop story?

Hi Nancy, thanks for your reply. Mine was picked up at the start of all this dizziness but dismissed by so many doctors ‘as nothing’ and was promptly diagnosed with menieres disease and have had treatment and operations over the years for it but never got any relief. Wasn’t until I saw yet another consultant after a bad spell where my balance went completely, was dizzy 24 hours a day and had to learn to walk and live all over again, that he thought maybe it was MAV. Have been on pizotifen since November but still I spin, go dizzy and are off balanced all the time. I have been referred to a neurologist, although there is a 13 week waiting list and won’t be even considered for an appointment until I am further up the list. Bit depressing. I don’t know whether to try coming off pizotifen in the meantime as the only thing it has done is make me gain a stone in weight. I am going to ask the Neurologist about this vascular loop and see what he thinks of it. Whether it may be causing some of my symptoms or not. Thing is I am sure they said my loop was on the left side which is where my vestibular troubles arise from although my recent caloric testing came back that my right side has 30% loss in balance function NOT the left!!! So I don’t know but I need to get to the bottom of the vascular loop thingey.

I hope the neurologist is able to help you figure things out. Can’t your GP let you try a different med in the meantime?

A lot of (non-dizzy) people are found to have vascular loops, too:

“No findings related to blood vessels (e.g. air CT, MRA, etc.) will ever be diagnostic as blood vessels cross the 8th nerve of at least a third of normal individuals (Parnes, 1990).”
From … scular.htm

The latter is Tim Hain’s site, a very informational page about vascular loop. I would definitely read this information.

Also, I think the caloric difference of 30 percent does not necessarily mean an abnormality; the balance-testing expert who used to post on a dizziness list that I read for a long time always emphasized what a rough measure the caloric test is and how the results can vary. Remember I am not an expert, though! Here is Dr. Hain’s page on the ENG: … c_test.htm

Best wishes and good luck in getting a correct diagnosis! Sorry you went through so many years of possible misdiagnosis.

I had a MRI and it was noted that “I have prominent aberrant vascular loops at both internal auditory canals”
My GP said its nothing.