Clinical Assessment of Otolith Function The otolith organs (the saccule and utricle) are located in the inner ear and sense linear acceleration, head tilt, and gravity. Recently, the vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) have been described as clinical tests for otolith function. VEMPs are short latency electromyograms (EMG) evoked ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2009
Clinical Assessment of Otolith Function
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Faith W. Akin
    Vestibular/Balance Laboratory, VA Medical Center, Audiology (126), Department of Communicative Disorders, East Tennessee State University, Mountain Home, TN
  • Owen D. Murnane
    Auditory Electrophysiology Laboratory, VA Medical Center Audiology (126), Department of Communicative Disorders, East Tennessee State University, Mountain Home, TN
Article Information
Balance & Balance Disorders / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2009
Clinical Assessment of Otolith Function
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2009, Vol. 13, 29-39. doi:10.1044/hhd13.2.29
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, November 2009, Vol. 13, 29-39. doi:10.1044/hhd13.2.29
Abstract

The otolith organs (the saccule and utricle) are located in the inner ear and sense linear acceleration, head tilt, and gravity. Recently, the vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) and the subjective visual vertical (SVV) have been described as clinical tests for otolith function. VEMPs are short latency electromyograms (EMG) evoked by high-level acoustic and vibratory stimuli recorded from surface electrodes over the tonically contracted SCM muscles (cervical VEMP) or extra-ocular muscles (ocular VEMP). The SVV is a psychophysical measure of the angle between perceptual vertical and true (gravitational) vertical and can be measured during unilateral centrifugation (off-axis eccentric rotation). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the clinical use and recent developments of the cervical VEMP, ocular VEMP, and SVV as tests of saccular and utricular function.

Acknowledgments
Support for this study was provided by Merit Reviews and the Auditory and Vestibular Dysfunction Research Enhancement Award Program. All funding was sponsored by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C.
The contents of this presentation do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.
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