What is the role of vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) in the diagnosis of dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017
  • Author: Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) is an emerging diagnostic tool for identifying vestibular lesions. The VEMP test is noninvasive and causes little or no discomfort to the patient. The VEMP test is administered like the traditional auditory brain stem response [ABR] test using surface electrodes placed on sternocleidomastoid muscles to detect sound evoked potentials due to inhibitory muscle activity in response to suprathreshold tonal sounds in each ear. VEMP testing targets the vestibule and neural connections to the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck. The VEMP neural pathway consists of the saccule, inferior vestibular nerve, and vestibulospional tract. [10] VEMP so far has been mainly useful in documenting abnormally low thresholds in persons with the Tullio effect, which mostly occurs in patients with fistulae or superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCD).


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