The dynamics of the vestibulo-ocular reflex in patients with vestibular neuritis

Am J Otolaryngol. 1990 Sep-Oct;11(5):345-51. doi: 10.1016/0196-0709(90)90066-5.


The dynamics of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) were studied in 14 patients at the onset of vestibular neuritis, and at follow-up 1 year later. A velocity step stimulus of 150 degrees/s was used to investigate the VOR time constant and gain, and the results were related to the caloric response. In the acute, vertiginous phase of the disease, the VOR time constant was reduced but was almost normalized 1 year later, both among patients who regained normal caloric side-difference and among those who did not. However, the increase in VOR time constant was greater among those who regained normal caloric excitability, and regression analysis showed a correlation between the prolongation of the VOR time constant and the recovery of caloric excitability. These findings suggest that VOR dynamics are modulated during the acute phase of vestibular neuritis, and that there is recovery with vestibular compensation. Furthermore, the recovery of the VOR time constant is not solely dependent on the recovery of normal caloric excitability. This implies that central storage of velocity information may be involved in the VOR, even in cases of asymmetric vestibular input after vestibular compensation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caloric Tests
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuritis / physiopathology*
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vestibular Nerve / physiopathology*