Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in practice: Methods, pitfalls and clinical applications

Sally M Rosengren, James G Colebatch, Allison S Young, Sendhil Govender, Miriam S Welgampola
Clinical Neurophysiology Practice 2019, 4: 47-68
Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) are a useful and increasingly popular component of the neuro-otology test battery. These otolith-dependent reflexes are produced by stimulating the ears with air-conducted sound or skull vibration and recorded from surface electrodes placed over the neck (cervical VEMPs) and eye muscles (ocular VEMPs). VEMP abnormalities have been reported in various diseases of the ear and vestibular system, and VEMPs have a clear role in the diagnosis of superior semicircular canal dehiscence. However there is significant variability in the methods used to stimulate the otoliths and record the reflexes. This review discusses VEMP methodology and provides a detailed theoretical background for the techniques that are typically used. The review also outlines the common pitfalls in VEMP recording and the clinical applications of VEMPs.

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