Ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in multiple sclerosis patients

Sibel Gazioglu, Cavit Boz
Clinical Neurophysiology: Official Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 2012, 123 (9): 1872-9

OBJECTIVE: Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) are thought to provide useful information about brainstem functions, as the neural pathways of both ocular and cervical VEMPs pass through the brainstem. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of ocular and cervical VEMP tests in the evaluation of brainstem involvement in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and to assess their relation with clinical and cranial MRI findings.

METHODS: Ocular and cervical VEMPs were recorded in 62 MS patients and 35 age and sex matched healthy volunteers. The latencies, amplitude asymmetry ratios of both VEMP responses and abnormality ratios (prolonged latencies and absent responses) were compared between the MS patients and the control group and among the groups of MS patients.

RESULTS: oVEMP mean n1 and p1 latencies and cVEMP mean p13 latency were significantly prolonged in MS patients. Although the abnormality ratios of both VEMPs were higher in patients with brainstem clinical or MRI lesions, the correlation was not statistically significant. Both ocular and cervical VEMP latencies were significantly correlated with expanded disability status scale.

CONCLUSIONS: Although there is no significant correlation with clinical or MRI findings, MS patients show high frequency of abnormality in VEMP tests, especially in oVEMP tests.

SIGNIFICANCE: VEMP tests may be useful as an adjunct test in the evaluation of brainstem dysfunction in MS patients.

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