Test-Retest Reliability and Age-Related Characteristics of the Ocular and Cervical Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Tests

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine the test-retest reliability and age-related trends of the cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP and oVEMP, respectively) responses to air-conducted sound and bone-conducted vibration stimulation.

Study Design:

Prospective study.

Setting:

Tertiary referral center.

Patients:

Fifty-three healthy adults with no hearing or vestibular deficits.

Intervention(s):

All subjects underwent cVEMP and oVEMP testing in response to sounds (0.1-ms clicks and 500-Hz tone bursts) and vibration (midline forehead taps at the hairline, Fz, with a reflex hammer and a Brüel & Kjær Mini-Shaker Type 4810). Twelve subjects underwent an additional testing session that was conducted at a mean of 10 weeks after the first one.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Test-retest reliability for VEMP response parameters (latency, peak-to-peak amplitude, and asymmetry ratio) were assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results:

oVEMP amplitudes had excellent test-retest reliability (ICC > 0.75) for all 4 stimuli; cVEMP amplitudes had excellent reliability for hammer taps and fair-to-good reliability for other stimuli. oVEMP asymmetry ratios had excellent reliability for clicks and fair-to-good reliability (ICC = 0.4-0.75) for other stimuli; cVEMP asymmetry ratios had fair-to-good reliability for clicks and hammer taps. Older subjects (>50 years old) were found to have significantly decreased cVEMP amplitudes in response to clicks, tones, and taps with a Mini-Shaker and significantly decreased oVEMP amplitudes in response to clicks, tones, and taps with a reflex hammer. No age-related changes were found for latencies or asymmetry ratios.

Conclusion:

Overall, oVEMP response parameters demonstrated better test-retest reliability than cVEMP response parameters, but oVEMPs and cVEMPs had similar age-related changes.

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