Cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss
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Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Karanataka, India
Publication date: 2013-12-31
Corresponding author
Sujeet Kumar Sinha   

Sujeet Kumar Sinha, Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Mysore-570006, Karanataka, India, e-mail: sujitks5@gmail.com
J Hear Sci 2013;3(4):56-63
Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) is a test to assess the functioning of otolith organs of the inner ear. Cervical VEMPs (cVEMPs) assess the saccule and the inferior vestibular nerve, whereas ocular VEMPs (oVEMPs) assess the utricle and superior vestibular nerve. In individuals with sensorineural hearing loss, disturbances of cochlear function could accompany vestibular impairment since both these parts of the inner ear are anatomically related. The aim of the present study was to find out the prevalence of cVEMPs and oVEMPs in individuals with congenital severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.

Material and Methods:
There were 46 participants in the present study: 23 with normal hearing and 23 with bilateral severe to profound hearing loss, and cVEMPs and oVEMPs were recorded from all of them.

cVEMPs were present in 100% of subjects, both in the control and experimental groups; oVEMPs were present in 100% of the control and 66% of the experimental group. In hearing impaired individuals no correlation was found between cVEMPs and oVEMPs, although a Mann-Whitney test revealed that the amplitude of cVEMPs and oVEMPs were significantly smaller in the hearing impaired group compared to normals.

The results indicate impairment of both utricular and saccular function in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Also oVEMPs were absent in more individuals compared to cVEMPs, which suggests that utricular function is more linked with the cochlea compared to that of the saccule.

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