Bone-conducted evoked myogenic potentials from the sternocleidomastoid muscle

Acta Otolaryngol. 2000 Sep;120(6):731-4. doi: 10.1080/000164800750000252.


The aim of this study was to show that bone-conducted clicks and short tone bursts (STBs) can evoke myogenic potentials from the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and that these responses are of vestibular origin. Evoked potential responses to bone-conducted auditory stimuli were recorded from the SCMs of 20 normal volunteers and from 12 patients with well-defined lesions of the middle or inner ear or the VIIIth cranial nerve. The subjects, who had various labyrinthine and retro-labyrinthine pathologies, included five patients with bilateral profound conductive hearing loss, two with bilateral acoustic neuroma post-total neurectomy and five with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Air- and bone-conducted evoked myogenic potentials in response to clicks and STBs were recorded with surface electrodes over each SCM of each subject. In normal subjects, bone- and air-conducted clicks and STBs evoked biphasic responses from the SCM ipsilateral to the stimulated ear. The bone-conducted clicks evoked short-latency vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) responses only in young subjects or in subjects with conductive hearing loss. STBs evoked VEMPs with higher amplitude and better waveform morphology than clicks with the same acoustic intensity. Patients with total VIIIth cranial nerve neurectomy showed no responses to air- or bone-conducted click or STB stimuli. Clear VEMP responses were evoked from patients with conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. It is concluded that loud auditory stimuli delivered by bone- as well as air conduction can evoke myogenic potentials from the SCM. These responses seem to be of vestibular origin.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone / methods
  • Bone Conduction / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cochlea / physiopathology
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiopathology
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / surgery