Clin Neurophysiol 2002 Sep;113(9):1464
Versino M, Colnaghi S, Callieco R, Bergamaschi R, Romani A, Cosi V.
Dipartimento Sciencze Neurologiche Universita di Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) are saccular responses to loud acoustic stimuli and are recordable from the sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle ipsilaterally to the stimulated ear. This study aimed to investigate VEMPs in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), and to compare these findings with both clinical and instrumental data.
We recorded VEMPs from 70 MS patients, whose clinical data were retrospectively evaluated for the possible occurrence of: past and current (with respect to VEMP recording) brainstem and/or cerebellar symptoms; current brainstem and/or cerebellar signs. Sixty-five patients underwent brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) recording; 63 of the same patients underwent saccadic eye movement recording and subjective visual vertical (SVV) evaluation.
VEMPs were abnormal in 31%, BAEPs in 38% and SVV in 21% of the patients. Saccadic eye movements showed a possible brainstem dysfunction in 44.4% of the patients. There was no correlation between the occurrence of abnormalities and the technical means of detection. The same held true for correlations with clinical data, with the exception of the BAEPs; these proved to be more frequently abnormal in patients presenting at neurological examination with brainstem and/or cerebellar signs that were possibly related to the complaint of dizziness.
VEMPs should be considered a useful complementary neurophysiological tool for the evaluation of brainstem dysfunction.