Scientific publications

Analysis of the vestibulo-ocular reflex time constant in patients with benign recurrent vertigo associated with head-shaking nystagmus

Apr 1, 2006 | Magazine: Acta Oto-laryngologica

Pérez-Fernandez N, Der-Musa C, Boleas-Aguirre MS, Martinez-Vila E.

When considering benign recurrent vertigo and a similar peripheral vestibular deficiency, the asymmetry of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) time constant (Tc) is lower in those patients with paretic head-shaking nystagmus (HSN) than in those with reversed HSN or without HSN.

To determine whether the existence of HSN is related to the time constant of the VOR in patients with benign recurrent vertigo (BRV).

This was a prospective study conducted at a tertiary care center in which patients were subjected to the head-shaking test, the caloric test and rotatory chair impulsive test on the same day.

The clinical features of the disease analyzed were the disease duration, frequency of vertigo spells, time since the last vertigo spell and the existence of migraine. The results of the head-shaking test were considered positive when nystagmus appeared after head-shaking had ended.

Two groups of patients were established on the basis of these results and the group that displayed HSN was divided according to the direction of nystagmus. In the impulsive test, the time constant of the VOR after ipsilesional and contralesional acceleration was analyzed, as was the symmetry of the response. The differences in the means were calculated.

BRV was diagnosed in 25% of patients suffering recurrent spells of vertigo, of which 33 patients were HSN- and 29 were HSN+. In the latter group, vestibular migraine was frequently observed (83% of the patients), the spells of vertigo were more frequent and the patients were seen closer to the previous spell of vertigo.

No differences were observed in the Tc of the VOR between HSN+ and HSN- patients, although the asymmetry of this Tc was higher in HSN- patients than in HSN+ patients. Nevertheless, the differences observed were only significant between paretic and reversed HSN patients and paretic HSN patients and HSN- patients.

CITATION  Acta Otolaryngol. 2006 Apr;126(4):358-63