Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials, clinical evaluation, and imaging findings in multiple sclerosis

Hayat Güven, Omer Bayır, Emrah Aytaç, Ali Ozdek, Selim Selçuk Comoğlu, Hakan Korkmaz
Neurological Sciences 2014, 35 (2): 221-6
Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP), short-latency electromyographic responses elicited by acoustic stimuli, evaluate the function of vestibulocollic reflex and may give information about brainstem function. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential contribution of VEMP to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fifty patients with MS and 30 healthy control subjects were included in this study. The frequency of VEMP p1-n1 and n2-p2 waves; mean p1, n1, n2, and p2 latency; and mean p1-n1 and n2-p2 amplitude were determined. The relation between clinical and imaging findings and VEMP parameters was evaluated. The p1-n1 and n2-p2 waves were more frequently absent in MS than in control subjects [p1-n1 wave absent: MS, 25 (25 %) ears; control, 6 (10 %) ears; P ≤ 0.02] [n2-p2 wave absent: MS, 44 (44 %) ears; control, 7 (12 %) ears; P ≤ 0.001]. The mean p1-n1 amplitude was lower in MS than in control subjects (MS, 19.1 ± 7.2 μV; control, 23.3 ± 7.4 μV; P ≤ 0.002). A total of 24/50 (48 %) MS patients had VEMP abnormalities (absent responses and/or prolonged latencies). VEMP abnormalities were more frequent in patients with than without vestibular symptoms (P ≤ 0.02) and with brainstem functional system score (FSS) ≥ 1 than FSS = 0 (P ≤ 0.02). In patients with MS, absence of p1-n1 wave was more frequent in patients with than without vestibular symptoms [absence of p1-n1 wave: vestibular symptoms, 9 (45 %) ears; no vestibular symptoms, 16 (20 %) ears; P ≤ 0.03] and patients with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score ≥ 5.5 [absence of p1-n1 wave: EDSS ≥ 5.5, 7 (70 %) ears; EDSS <5.5, 18 (20 %) ears; P ≤ 0.001]. Abnormal VEMP may be noted in MS patients, especially those with vestibular symptoms and greater disability. The VEMP test may complement other studies for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with MS.

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