Superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome: Diagnostic criteria consensus document of the committee for the classification of vestibular disorders of the Barany Society

B.K. Ward*, R. Van de Berg, V. Van Rompaey, A. Bisdorff, T.E. Hullar, M.S. Welgampola, J.P. Carey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper describes the diagnostic criteria for superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) as put forth by the classification committee of the Barany Society. In addition to the presence of a dehiscence of the superior semicircular canal on high resolution imaging, patients diagnosed with SCDS must also have symptoms and physiological tests that are both consistent with the pathophysiology of a 'third mobile window' syndrome and not better accounted for by another vestibular disease or disorder. The diagnosis of SCDS therefore requires a combination of A) at least one symptom consistent with SCDS and attributable to 'third mobile window' pathophysiology including 1) hyperacusis to bone conducted sound, 2) sound-induced vertigo and/or oscillopsia time-locked to the stimulus, 3) pressure-induced vertigo and/or oscillopsia time-locked to the stimulus, or 4) pulsatile tinnitus; B) at least 1 physiologic test or sign indicating that a 'third mobile window' is transmitting pressure including 1) eye movements in the plane of the affected superior semicircular canal when sound or pressure is applied to the affected ear, 2) low-frequency negative bone conduction thresholds on pure tone audiometry, or 3) enhanced vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) responses (low cervical VEMP thresholds or elevated ocular VEMP amplitudes); and C) high resolution computed tomography (CT) scan with multiplanar reconstruction in the plane of the superior semicircular canal consistent with a dehiscence. Thus, patients who meet at least one criterion in each of the three major diagnostic categories (symptoms, physiologic tests, and imaging) are considered to have SCDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research-Equilibrium & Orientation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Superior canal dehiscence
  • third mobile window
  • inner ear
  • labyrinth
  • BONE
  • THIN
  • CT

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