Bio


Kristen Steenerson is a board-certified neurologist with fellowship training in otoneurology. After graduating cum laude from Claremont McKenna College where she was honored as an All-American lacrosse defensive player, she continued on to medical school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. After four years of excellent training and annual ski passes, she proceeded to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona for neurology residency. There, she discovered the beauty of the Sonoran Desert as well as an unmet need in balance disorders and vertigo, motivating her to pursue a fellowship in otoneurology at Barrow Neurological Institute. She joins Stanford with positions in both Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery and Neurology with the goal of jointly addressing the junction of inner ear and brain disorders. Her specific interests include vestibular migraine, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Ménière's disease and international neurology.

Clinical Focus


  • Vertigo
  • Vestibular Migraine
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Neurology
  • Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness
  • Ménière's Disease
  • Otoneurology
  • Vestibular Disorders

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2016)
  • Fellowship: Barrow Neurological Institute St Josephs Hospital (2017) AZ
  • Residency: Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale (2016) AZ
  • Internship: Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale (2013) AZ
  • Medical Education: University of Utah School of Medicine (2012) UT
  • Bachelors, Claremont McKenna College, Human Biology (2008)

All Publications


  • Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome. Seminars in neurology Steenerson, K. K., Crane, B. T., Minor, L. B. 2020

    Abstract

    Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) is a vestibular disorder caused by a pathologic third window into the labyrinth that can present with autophony, sound- or pressure-induced vertigo, and chronic disequilibrium among other vestibulocochlear symptoms. Careful history taking and examination in conjunction with appropriate diagnostic testing can accurately diagnose the syndrome. Key examination techniques include fixation-suppressed ocular motor examination investigating for sound- or pressure-induced eye movements in the plane of the semicircular canal. Audiometry, vestibular evoked myogenic potentials, and computed tomography confirm the diagnosis. Corrective surgical techniques can be curative, but many patients find their symptoms are not severe enough to undergo surgery. Although a primarily peripheral vestibular disorder, as first-line consultants for most dizziness complaints, neurologists will serve their patients well by understanding SCDS and its role in the differential diagnosis of vestibular disorders.

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0039-3402738

    View details for PubMedID 31986544

  • Vestibular Lab Testing: Interpreting the Results in the Headache Patient with Dizziness. Current neurology and neuroscience reports Chan, T. L., Hale, T. D., Steenerson, K. K. 2020; 20 (6): 16

    Abstract

    To provide an overview of vestibular lab testing and to familiarize the reader with common results observed in headache patients with dizziness.The latest research indicates variable levels of both peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction in headache populations with dizziness. Mechanisms may include vestibulocerebellar loss of inhibition, central vestibular network misfiring, and peripheral pathology aggravating central hypersensitization. Headache patients are commonly affected by dizziness stemming from various etiologies. Although history is still the gold standard in diagnosis, vestibular lab testing can identify the integrity of vestibular function. Research is emerging and future directions are encouraging.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11910-020-01036-4

    View details for PubMedID 32430768

  • Bilateral vestibular dysfunction associated with chronic exposure to military jet propellant type-eight jet fuel Frontiers of Neurology Fife, T. D., Robb, M., Steenerson, K., Saha, K. 2018: 351

    Abstract

    We describe three patients diagnosed with bilateral vestibular dysfunction associated with the jet propellant type-eight (JP-8) fuel exposure. Chronic exposure to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, which are the main constituents of JP-8 military aircraft jet fuel, occurred over 3-5 years' duration while working on or near the flight line. Exposure to toxic hydrocarbons was substantiated by the presence of JP-8 metabolite n-hexane in the blood of one of the cases. The presenting symptoms were dizziness, headache, fatigue, and imbalance. Rotational chair testing confirmed bilateral vestibular dysfunction in all the three patients. Vestibular function improved over time once the exposure was removed. Bilateral vestibular dysfunction has been associated with hydrocarbon exposure in humans, but only recently has emphasis been placed specifically on the detrimental effects of JP-8 jet fuel and its numerous hydrocarbon constituents. Data are limited on the mechanism of JP-8-induced vestibular dysfunction or ototoxicity. Early recognition of JP-8 toxicity risk, cessation of exposure, and customized vestibular therapy offer the best chance for improved balance. Bilateral vestibular impairment is under-recognized in those chronically exposed to all forms of jet fuel.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fneur.2018.00351

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5964212

  • Case series: Hearing loss in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders. Multiple sclerosis and related disorders Tugizova, M., Feng, H., Tomczak, A., Steenerson, K., Han, M. 2020; 41: 102032

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Aquaporin 4 (AQP4)- and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-associated neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) are thought to primarily affect the central nervous system (CNS). However, emerging evidence suggests that there are extra-CNS manifestations of NMOSD, including myopathies, gastrointestinal dysfunction, renal involvement and adverse pregnancy outcomes.1 METHODS: Three patients who reported hearing loss during a NMOSD relapse were identified through a retrospective case review.RESULTS: In this article, we discuss two AQP4-IgG positive NMOSD cases, each presenting with conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, and a case of MOG-IgG-associated NMOSD presenting with sensorineural hearing loss.CONCLUSION: Hearing loss may be present as a relapse in patients with NMOSD. Early recognition and timely treatment are essential to prevent irreversible hearing loss.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102032

    View details for PubMedID 32155460

  • Post-transplant primary central nervous system lymphoma after Epstein-Barr virus cerebellitis. Journal of neurovirology Valencia-Sanchez, C., Steenerson, K. K., Kelemen, K., Orenstein, R., Kusne, S., Grill, M. F. 2019

    Abstract

    Post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a complication of solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Cases with isolated central nervous system (CNS) disease are rare. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays a causative role. We present a patient with EBV cerebellitis documented 5months prior to development of primary CNS PTLD (PCNS-PTLD). This case report demonstrates progression from EBV CNS infection to lymphoproliferative disorder, highlighting the importance of serial clinical and imaging monitoring in transplant patients post-EBV CNS infection. PCNS-PTLD should always be considered in the differential diagnosis for transplant patients presenting with CNS symptoms, even in cases with no evidence of EBV viremia. Earlier diagnosis and appropriate treatment could result in improved outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13365-018-0711-8

    View details for PubMedID 30607891

  • Examining the Spectrum of Reversibles: Cerebral ischemia in PRES and RCVS Pena, A., O'Carroll, C., Steenerson, K., Starling, A. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018
  • Erlotinib-Induced Dandy's Syndrome: Case Report Steenerson, K., Fife, T. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018
  • Bilateral Vestibular Dysfunction Associated With Chronic Exposure to Military Jet Propellant Type-Eight Jet Fuel. Frontiers in neurology Fife, T. D., Robb, M. J., Steenerson, K. K., Saha, K. C. 2018; 9: 351

    Abstract

    We describe three patients diagnosed with bilateral vestibular dysfunction associated with the jet propellant type-eight (JP-8) fuel exposure. Chronic exposure to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, which are the main constituents of JP-8 military aircraft jet fuel, occurred over 3-5 years' duration while working on or near the flight line. Exposure to toxic hydrocarbons was substantiated by the presence of JP-8 metabolite n-hexane in the blood of one of the cases. The presenting symptoms were dizziness, headache, fatigue, and imbalance. Rotational chair testing confirmed bilateral vestibular dysfunction in all the three patients. Vestibular function improved over time once the exposure was removed. Bilateral vestibular dysfunction has been associated with hydrocarbon exposure in humans, but only recently has emphasis been placed specifically on the detrimental effects of JP-8 jet fuel and its numerous hydrocarbon constituents. Data are limited on the mechanism of JP-8-induced vestibular dysfunction or ototoxicity. Early recognition of JP-8 toxicity risk, cessation of exposure, and customized vestibular therapy offer the best chance for improved balance. Bilateral vestibular impairment is under-recognized in those chronically exposed to all forms of jet fuel.

    View details for PubMedID 29867750

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5964212

  • A Practical Approach to the Diagnosis of Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS Steenerson, K., Halker, R. 2015; 19 (8)

    Abstract

    Spontaneous intracranial hypotension can be difficult to diagnose as there are a number of tests available and knowing how to appropriately choose amongst them is not always easy. In this article, we will review the available diagnostic options and provide a practical approach to the workup of a patient with suspected intracranial hypotension.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11916-015-0509-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000358139100006

    View details for PubMedID 26077206

  • Persistent Neuropsychosis From Untreated Headache in Susac Syndrome Davis, M. L., Steenerson, K. K., Capampangan, D. J. AMER PSYCHIATRIC PUBLISHING, INC. 2015: E194–E194