Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials History and Overview Research Article
Research Article  |   December 2004
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Guangwei Zhou
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston
  • L. Clarke Cox, PhD
    Boston University/Boston Medical Center, 720 Harrison Ave, Suite 601, Boston, MA 02118
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: clarke.cox@bmc.org
Article Information
Balance & Balance Disorders / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 2004
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials
American Journal of Audiology, December 2004, Vol. 13, 135-143. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2004/018)
History: Received May 4, 2004 , Accepted November 8, 2004
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2004, Vol. 13, 135-143. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2004/018)
History: Received May 4, 2004; Accepted November 8, 2004

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) testing is a relatively new diagnostic tool that is in the process of being investigated in patients with specific vestibular disorders. In this review, we will outline the history and provide a current review of VEMP research. Briefly, the VEMP is a biphasic response elicited by loud clicks or tone bursts recorded from the tonically contracted sternocleidomastoid muscle. Current data suggest that the VEMP is a vestibulo-collic reflex whose afferent limb arises from acoustically sensitive cells in the saccule, with signals conducted via the inferior vestibular nerve. We will review the history of the response and detail the anatomy and physiology associated with the test. We will discuss specific VEMP applications in the diagnosis of Meniere's disease, vestibular schwannoma, vestibular hypersensitivity disorders, vestibular neuritis, multiple sclerosis, and other brainstem lesions.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Drs. Steven Rauch, Barbara Herrmann, and Sharon Kujawa of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for generous support and helpful suggestions. The authors would also like to thank Drs. Gerald Kidd and Melanie Matthies of Boston University for reviewing and providing valuable comments on earlier versions of this article.
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