Ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in response to bone-conducted vibration in patients with probable inferior vestibular neuritis

L Manzari, A M Burgess, I S Curthoys
Journal of Laryngology and Otology 2012, 126 (7): 683-91

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Previous evidence shows that the n10 component of the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential indicates utricular function, while the p13 component of the cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential indicates saccular function. This study aimed to assess the possibility of differential utricular and saccular function testing in the clinic, and whether loss of saccular function affects utricular response.

METHODS: Following vibration conduction from the mid-forehead at the hairline, the ocular n10 component was recorded by surface electromyograph electrodes beneath both eyes, while the cervical p13-n23 component was recorded by surface electrodes over the tensed sternocleidomastoid muscles.

RESULTS: Fifty-nine patients were diagnosed with probable inferior vestibular neuritis, as their cervical p13-n23 component was asymmetrical (i.e. reduced or absent on the ipsilesional side), while their ocular n10 component was symmetrical (i.e. normal beneath the contralesional eye).

CONCLUSION: The sense organ responsible for the cervical and the ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials cannot be the same, as one response was normal while the other was not. Reduced or absent saccular function has no detectable effect on the ocular n10 component. On vibration stimulation, the ocular n10 component indicates utricular function and the cervical p13-n23 component indicates saccular function.

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