Clinical significance of vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Won Sun Yang, Sung Huhn Kim, Jong Dae Lee, Won-Sang Lee
Otology & Neurotology 2008, 29 (8): 1162-6

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) resulting in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) patients and to verify its clinical applications in BPPV.

STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study.

SETTING: Tertiary referral dizziness center.

PATIENTS: Forty-one patients with diagnosis of BPPV and 92 healthy volunteers who underwent VEMP testing.

INTERVENTION: Patients were treated by canalith repositioning maneuvers according to the affected canal, and testing of VEMP was performed at diagnosis and after treatment.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Testing of VEMP was performed in BPPV patients and in the control group. The number of times the canalith repositioning maneuver was repeated until the patient's report of relief from vertigo and findings of negative positioning test were recorded to find out the relationship between VEMP results and the progress of disease.

RESULTS: Vestibular evoked myogenic potential results of BPPV patients showed prolonged p13 and n23 latencies compared with those of the control group, and we could not find any significant difference in VEMP latencies between patients with posterior and horizontal canal type of BPPV. The number of times that the maneuver was repeated did not correlate with the degree of latency prolongation, but in the "no response" group, the number of times was considerably greater than that in the "response" group.

CONCLUSION: We found that VEMP latencies are increased in BPPV patients, which may signify neuronal degenerative changes in the macula of the saccule. When an extensive neuronal damage was suspected by VEMP results such as "no response" in VEMP, the disease progress showed a chronic and resistive course. Therefore, we propose that VEMP could be a useful method to determine a clinical prognosis of patients with BPPV.

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