Clinical Evaluation of the Vestibular Nerve Using Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials
Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials are currently the most clinically accessible method to evaluate the otolith reflex pathways. These responses provide unique information regarding the status of the utriculo-ocular and sacculo-collic reflex pathways, information that has previously been unavailable. Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials are recorded from tonically contracted target muscles known to be innervated by these respective otolith organs. Diagnosticians can use vestibular evoked myogenic potentials to better evaluate the overall integrity of the inner ear and neural pathways; however, there are specific considerations for each otolith reflex protocol. In addition, specific patient populations may require protocol variations to better evaluate atypical function of the inner ear organs, vestibular nerve transmission, or subsequent reflex pathways. This is a review of the clinical application and interpretation of cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials.