What is ice water caloric stimulation electronystagmography (ENG)?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Angela G Shoup, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Ice water caloric stimulation is used to determine whether residual vestibular function exists in patients who have no caloric response with standard stimuli.

To administer this test, water and ice are placed in a cup. In the standard position for caloric testing, a basin is placed beneath the patient's ear, and the patient's head is turned to the side. With a syringe, 2 mL of water is placed into the external ear canal and retained for 20 seconds. At the end of 20 seconds, the water is drained into the basin, and the head is returned to the normal position for caloric testing. Recordings are obtained to determine the presence or absence of nystagmus.

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