Association of air-conducted sound oVEMP findings with cVEMP and caloric test findings in patients with unilateral peripheral vestibular disorders

Toshihisa Murofushi, Haruka Nakahara, Eriko Yoshimura, Yukiko Tsuda
Acta Oto-laryngologica 2011, 131 (9): 945-50

CONCLUSION: This study showed that the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) in response to air-conducted sound (ACS) reflects functions of different parts of the vestibular labyrinth from cervical VEMP (cVEMP).

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the origin of the vestibular end organs of the oVEMP in response to ACS (500 Hz tone bursts) is the same as that of cVEMP.

METHODS: Twenty patients definitively diagnosed with unilateral Meniere's disease (MD), 6 patients with unilateral vestibular neuritis (VN), and 7 healthy subjects were enrolled. In these subjects, the oVEMP and cVEMP to air-conducted 500 Hz tone bursts (125 dBSPL) were measured. The patients also underwent caloric tests.

RESULTS: The MD patients did not show a significant association between their ACS oVEMP findings and ACS cVEMP findings but there was an association of ACS oVEMP findings with caloric test findings. When the MD patients were classified into four stages based on their hearing levels, the patients showed abnormal findings at earlier stages on ACS cVEMP than on other tests. While all six VN patients showed abnormal findings on ACS oVEMP and caloric tests, only two patients showed abnormal ACS cVEMPs. These findings support the hypothesis that the oVEMP in response to ACS predominantly reflects utricular functions while ACS cVEMP reflects saccular functions.

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