The aim of this paper was to evaluate prospectively, in a group of patients affected by VN, a diagnostic protocol employing C-VEMPs, O-VEMPs and vHIT together. The diagnosis of vestibular neurolabyrinthitis was based on the clinical history, absence of associated auditory or neurological symptoms, and a neuro-otological examination with an evaluation of lateral semicircular canal function using the Fitzgerald-Hallpike caloric vestibular test and ice test. Our series revealed an incidence of 55% of superior and inferior vestibular neurolabyrinthitis, 40% of superior vestibular neurolabyrinthitis and 5% of inferior vestibular neurolabyrinthitis. These data, however, comprised different degrees of vestibular involvement considering the evaluation of each single vestibular end-organ with potential different prognosis. Four patients had only deficits of the horizontal and superior semicircular canals or their ampullary nerves. The implementation of C-VEMPs, O-VEMPs and vHIT in a vestibular diagnostic protocol has made possible to observe patients with ampullary VN, unidentifiable with other types of vestibular exams. The effect of age seems to have some impact on the recovery. When recovery firstly involves the utricular and saccular nerves and subsequently the ampullary nerves, it may be reasonable to expect a more favorable and successful outcome.
Keywords: C-VEMPs; O-VEMPs; Vestibular neurolabyrinthitis; vHIT.