Vestibular evoked myogenic potential in vestibular neuritis

This study wants to show the diagnostic value of vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) in the diagnosis of vestibular neuritis (VN), independently of the caloric test results. Twenty patients were enrolled with acute vertigo caused by VN. VEMP was tested with the binaural simultaneous stimulation method. Surface electromyographic activity was recorded in the supine patients from symmetrical sites over the upper half of each sternocleidomastoid muscle, with a reference electrode on the lateral end of the upper sternum. During the acute attack, 8 days, 1 month and 3 months after the beginning of the acute attack, all the patients underwent the following examinations: Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre, Pagnini-McClure manoeuvre, head shaking test, pure-tone audiometry, tympanometry, caloric labyrinth stimulation according to the Fitzgerald-Hallpike method and VEMP. At the last visit, the 11 patients diagnosed with superior branch vestibular neuritis did not show any improvement at the caloric labyrinth stimulation and presented VEMP on both sides with normal amplitude and latency; in the 9 cases diagnosed with inferior branch vestibular neuritis, there was an improvement of the VEMP reflex and normal caloric test. Our experience highlights that VEMP recording is applicable for patients with VN as a screening test.

Nola G, Guastini L, Crippa B, Deiana M, Mora R, Ralli G.

ENT Department, G.B. Grassi Hospital, Ostia, Rome, Italy.

PMID:21448610 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]