JOURNAL ARTICLE

Three-dimensional vector analysis of the human vestibuloocular reflex in response to high-acceleration head rotations. II. responses in subjects with unilateral vestibular loss and selective semicircular canal occlusion

S T Aw, G M Halmagyi, T Haslwanter, I S Curthoys, R A Yavor, M J Todd
Journal of Neurophysiology 1996, 76 (6): 4021-30
8985897
1. We studied the three-dimensional input-output human vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) kinematics after selective loss of semicircular canal (SCC) function either through total unilateral vestibular deafferentation (uVD) or through single posterior SCC occlusion (uPCO), and showed large deficits in magnitude and direction in response to high-acceleration head rotations (head "impulses"). 2. A head impulse is a passive, unpredictable, high-acceleration (3,000-4,000 degrees/s2) head rotation through an amplitude of 10-20 degrees in roll, pitch, or yaw. The subjects were tested while seated in the upright position and focusing on a fixation target. Head and eye rotations were measured with the use of dual search coils, and were expressed as rotation vectors. A three-dimensional vector analysis was performed on the input-output VOR kinematics after uVD, to produce two indexes in the time domain: magnitude and direction. Magnitude is expressed as speed gain (G) and direction as misalignment angle (delta). 3. G. after uVD, was significantly lower than normal in both directions of head rotation during roll, pitch, and yaw impulses, and were much lower during ipsilesional than during contralesional roll and yaw impulses. At 80 ms from the onset of an impulse (i.e., near peak head velocity), G was 0.23 +/- 0.08 (SE) (ipsilesional) and 0.56 +/- 0.08 (contralesional) for roll impulses, 0.61 +/- 0.09 (up) and 0.72 +/- 0.10 (down) for pitch impulses, and 0.36 +/- 0.06 (ipsilesional) and 0.76 +/- 0.09 (contralesional) for yaw impulses (mean +/- 95% confidence intervals). 4. delta, after uVD, was significantly different from normal during ipsilesional roll and yaw impulses and during pitch-up and pitch-down impulses. delta was normal during contralesional roll and yaw impulses. At 80 ms from the onset of the impulse, delta was 30.6 +/- 4.5 (ipsilesional) and 13.4 +/- 5.0 (contralesional) for roll impulses, 23.7 +/- 3.7 (up) and 31.6 +/- 4.4 (down) for pitch impulses, and 68.7 +/- 13.2 (ipsilesional) and 11.0 +/- 3.3 (contralesional) for yaw impulses (mean +/- 95% confidence intervals). 5. VOR gain (gamma), after uVD, were significantly lower than normal for both directions of roll, pitch, and yaw impulses and much lower during ipsilesional than during contralesional roll and yaw impulses. At 80 ms from the onset of the head impulse, the gamma was 0.22 +/- 0.08 (ipsilesional) and 0.54 +/- 0.09 (contralesional) for roll impulses, 0.55 +/- 0.09 (up) and 0.61 +/- 0.09 (down) for pitch impulses, and 0.14 +/- 0.10 (ipsilesional) and 0.74 +/- 0.06 (contralesional) for yaw impulses (mean +/- 95% confidence intervals). Because gamma is equal to [G*cos (delta)], it is significantly different from its corresponding G during ipsilesional roll and yaw, and during all pitch impulses, but not during contralesional roll and yaw impulses. 6. After uPCO, pitch-vertical gamma during pitch-up impulses was reduced to the same extent as after uVD; roll-torsional gamma during ipsilesional roll impulses was significantly lower than normal but significantly higher than after uVD. At 80 ms from the onset of the head impulse, gamma was 0.32 +/- 0.13 (ipsilesional) and 0.55 +/- 0.16 (contralesional) for roll impulses, 0.51 +/- 0.12 (up) and 0.91 +/- 0.14 (down) for pitch impulses, and 0.76 +/- 0.06 (ipsilesional) and 0.73 +/- 0.09 (contralesional) for yaw impulses (mean +/- 95% confidence intervals). 7. The eye rotation axis, after uVD, deviates in the yaw plane, away from the normal interaural axis, toward the nasooccipital axis, during all pitch impulses. After uPCO, the eye rotation axis deviates in same direction as after uVD during pitch-up impulses, but is well aligned with the head rotation axis during pitch-down impulses.

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