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Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in patients with BPPV

Stavros Korres, Eleni Gkoritsa, Dimitra Giannakakou-Razelou, Ioannis Yiotakis, Maria Riga, Thomas P. Nikolpoulos

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(1): CR42-47

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881328

Background:    The probable cause of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a degeneration of the oto    lithic organs (utricle and saccule). The aim of the study is to find possible alterations in Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP) recordings in BPPV patients, because the saccule is part of the VEMP pathway.
    Material/Methods:    27 BPPV patients (24 unilateral and 3 bilateral) aged 20 to 70 years and 30 healthy age matched controls. BPPV was diagnosed by the upbeating geotropic nystagmus found in the supine position with the head overextended towards one side. The subjects were investigated with pure tone audiometry, bi-thermal caloric test with electronystagmographic (ENG) recording, and VEMP recording.
    Results:    P1 latency and N1 latency did not present any statistical difference between control ears and affected ears of the BPPV population. The percentage of abnormal VEMP in the BPPV population was statistically higher than in the control ears (p<0.005). No significant relationship could be shown between the occurrence of Canal Paresis and abnormal VEMP. No relationship was found between the side (right or left ear) where BPPV appeared clinically and the side where abnormal VEMP was registered.
    Conclusions:    BPPV is a clinical entity associated with increased occurrence of abnormal VEMP recordings, possibly due to degeneration of the saccular macula, which is part of the neural VEMP pathway.

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