Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: is vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing useful?

Giovanni Longo, Marina Onofri, Teresa Pellicciari, Nicola Quaranta
Acta Oto-laryngologica 2012, 132 (1): 39-43

CONCLUSIONS: In benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) help to better define the extent of saccular damage and the patient's prognosis.

OBJECTIVES: To report the results of VEMPs in patients affected by BPPV of the posterior semicircular canal (PSC) in order to evaluate the presence of signs of saccular dysfunction compared to the normal population and to correlate them with the clinical picture.

METHODS: This was a prospective study in a tertiary referral center; 23 patients affected by BPPV of the PSC and 24 controls were evaluated. All patients underwent complete clinical history and otoneurologic and audiovestibular evaluation consisting of pure-tone audiometry, caloric testing, and registration of VEMPs.

RESULTS: VEMP thresholds and latencies were not different between patients and controls. As a group BPPV patients presented significantly higher abnormal VEMPs compared with controls (p < 0.001). Age positively correlated with VEMP threshold in the affected ear of patients and in controls; the number of BPPV attacks positively correlated with threshold and negatively with amplitude of VEMPs in the affected ear; duration of the last attack was negatively correlated with the effect of the maneuver performed.

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