The International Tinnitus Journal

The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


SUbjective Visual Horizontal Determination During Otolith Stimulation by Eccentric Rotation in Conservatively Treated Meniere's Disease

Author(s): Lars M. Odkvist, Lisbeth Noaksson, Susanne Olsson, and Torbjorn Ledin

Peripheral vestibular equilibrium disorders may originate in various parts of the labyrinth or of the vestibular nerve. Traditionally, the function of the lateral semicircular canals has been assessed by caloric irrigation and has been interpreted (sometimes falsely) as demonstrating a vestibular nerve lesion. The vertical semicircular canals are not assessed easily. Caloric testing with the head in various positions is not very helpful, but the canals may be tested in pairs using specific rotational techniques. Often, the otolith organs, detecting linear acceleration forces, are forgotten as a source of vertigo and dizziness. The extent of otolith involvement in Meniere's disease is not well understood. The tested subject is seated eccentrically in a rotatory chair and faces the direction of rotation. Thus, the otolith organs are stimulated in steady-state rotation. The subject experiences a lateral tilt and, in darkness, is instructed to point a short light bar in the position that he or she thinks a water surface would have (identical to the perceived tilt). Patients with conservatively treated unilateral Meniere's disease were tested. In the eccentric rotation test, the patients with unilateral Meniere's disease showed highly variable, sometimes even paradoxical, responses. No correlation was noted between the eccentric otolith test and pure-tone audiometry or the side difference of the caloric responses. Otolith and lateral semicircular canal functions may differ in patients with Meniere's disease, the nature of which remains to be elucidated in further studies.