Vibration-induced nystagmus in patients with vestibular disorders

Masafumi Ohki, Toshihisa Murofushi, Haruka Nakahara, Keiko Sugasawa
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2003, 129 (3): 255-8

OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to clarify the clinical significance of vibration-induced nystagmus (VIN).

METHODS: One hundred patients with unilateral vestibulocochlear disorders were enrolled into this study. However, patients with spontaneous nystagmus were excluded. Vibratory stimuli (approximately 100 Hz) were presented to the mastoids and the forehead. Patients also underwent caloric testing and vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing.

RESULTS: Of the 100 patients, 60 (60%) showed VIN. The nystagmus was mainly horizontal. VIN was more frequently evoked on the mastoids than the forehead. In the majority of patients, the direction of VIN was toward the healthy side, whereas some patients, especially patients with Meniere's disease, showed nystagmus toward the affected side. VIN was frequently evoked in patients with severe unilateral vestibular damages (canal paresis >50%) (39 of 43, or 90%).

CONCLUSION: VIN testing is a simple and sensitive clinical test that indicates unilateral vestibular dysfunction.

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