Correlations between foam posturography and vestibular-evoked myogenic potential tests in Ménière's disease

Chuan-Yi Lin, Shou-Jen Wang, Yi-Ho Young
Ear and Hearing 2013, 34 (5): 673-9

OBJECTIVES: This study adopted foam posturography coupled with inner ear test battery including audiometry, and cervical Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potential (cVEMP), ocular Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potential (oVEMP) and Caloric tests in patients with Ménière's disease to investigate the relations between them.

DESIGN: Fifty patients with unilateral definite Ménière's disease were enrolled. All patients underwent Audiometry, and Caloric, oVEMP, and cVEMP tests. In addition, posturography was also performed under 4 conditions: A (firm surface, eyes open), B (firm surface, eyes closed), C (foam pad, eyes open), and D (foam pad, eyes closed). Romberg quotient (RQ) was measured as the value from eyes closed divided by that from eyes open.

RESULTS: No correlation existed between Ménière stage and RQ measured with foam pad. Mean RQ of the sway area on foam pad in Ménière's patients with abnormal oVEMPs (1.75 ± 0.95) was significantly larger than 1.20 ± 0.70 in those with normal oVEMPs. However, neither cVEMP nor Caloric test results were associated with RQ on foam pad (p > 0.05). Further, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the RQ of sway area on foam pad in discrimination between normal and abnormal oVEMP test was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.51 to 0.79; p < 0.05), implying that RQ of the sway area on foam pad may serve as a significant predictor for abnormal oVEMP test.

CONCLUSIONS: By removing or reducing both visual and somatosensory inputs from foam posturography, the remaining vestibular cue, represented as RQ of sway area on foam pad, may reflect utricular function.

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