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Clinical interest of postural and vestibulo-ocular reflex changes induced by cervical muscles and skull vibration in compensated unilateral vestibular lesion patients

By Georges Dumas, Alexis Lion, Gerome C. Gauchard, Guillaume Herpin, Måns Magnusson and Philippe P. Perrin


Skull vibration induces nystagmus in unilateral vestibular lesion (UVL) patients. Vibration of skull, posterior cervical muscles or inferior limb muscles alters posture in recent UVL patients. This study aimed to investigate the postural effect of vibration in chronic compensated UVL patients. Vibration was applied successively to vertex, each mastoid, each side of posterior cervical muscles and of triceps surae in 12 UVL patients and 9 healthy subjects. Eye movements were recorded with videonystagmography. Postural control was evaluated in eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) conditions. Sway area, sway path, anteroposterior and medio-lateral sways were recorded. A vibration induced nystagmus (VIN) beating toward the healthy side was obtained for each UVL patient during mastoid vibration. In EO, only sway path was higher in UVL group during vibration of mastoids and posterior cervical muscles. The EO postural impairments of UVL patients could be related to the eye movements or VIN, leading to visual perturbations, or to a proprioceptive error signal, providing an erroneous representation of head position. The vibration-induced sway was too small to be clinically useful. Vestibulo-ocular reflex observed with videonystagmography during mastoid vibration seems more relevant to reveal chronic UVL than vestibulo-spinal reflex observed with posturography

Topics: Otorhinolaryngology, Inner ear, compensation, nystagmus, posturography, videonystagmography
Publisher: 'IOS Press'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.3233/VES-130468
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