Clinical experience with the vestibular evoked myogenic potential

David A. Zapala, Robert H. Brey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) is a promising test of the descending vestibulocollic system. Our aim was to determine whether the VEMP can be applied to an older patient population and can detect lesions in descending vestibulospinal pathways. We also compared VEMP clinical performance with that of the standard caloric test. VEMP test performance was retrospectively analyzed in relation to clinical diagnosis and other vestibular test performance in 62 patients (age, 30-85 years) referred for vestibular testing to Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. The VEMP was evoked using a 250 Hz tone burst. Results suggest age-related changes in VEMP amplitude and latency in this patient population. VEMP tests were sensitive to lesions not detected by electronystagmography. VEMP and caloric sensitivity and specificity were essentially equal (d′ = 1). Combining both tests improved sensitivity. However, VEMP false-positive rates hampered specificity. VEMP testing may be refined to improve false-positive rates and clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-215
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Electromyography
  • Motor evoked potentials
  • Saccule
  • Sternocleidomastoid muscle
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
  • Vestibular function tests
  • Vestibular nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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