New tests of vestibular function

Baillieres Clin Neurol. 1994 Nov;3(3):485-500.


Three new, simple, clinically applicable tests of vestibular function are described. The first is a test of the response of the lateral semicircular canals to high accelerations. The test can even be done at the bedside where it can reveal severe unilateral or bilateral loss of lateral canal function. The test can also be recorded in a laboratory where it might show a less severe deficit of lateral canal function. The second is a simple, laboratory test of utricular function which depends on a subject's ability to align a bar with the subjective visual vertical. Patients with acute unilateral peripheral vestibular lesions invariably set the bar toward the side of the lesion. The third is a laboratory test of saccular function relying on a click-evoked inhibitory vestibulo-collic reflex recorded in the ipsilateral sternomastoid muscle. It can be done with equipment used for auditory evoked potentials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Saccule and Utricle / physiology
  • Saccule and Utricle / physiopathology
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology*
  • Torsion Abnormality / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Function Tests*