Head injury and blast exposure: vestibular consequences

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2011 Apr;44(2):323-34, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2011.01.005.


Young adults are more likely to suffer blast injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI) than other age groups. This article reviews the literature on the vestibular consequences of blast exposure and TBI and concussion. In addition, the vestibular test findings obtained from 31 veterans with a history of blast exposure and/or mild TBI are presented. The authors discuss loss of horizontal semicircular canal function and postural instability related to head injury. Preliminary data suggest the novel theory that otolith organs are uniquely vulnerable to head injury and blast exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blast Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • Otolithic Membrane / physiology
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Saccule and Utricle / physiopathology
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology*