Characterization of age-related changes in vestibular evoked
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pp. 93 - 98
Dietmar Basta, Ingo Todt, Arne Ernst
A tone-burst stimulation of 500 Hz seems to be clinically most
appropriate to elicit vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
(VEMPs) because those VEMPs can be recorded at the lowest
stimulus intensity possible. However, little is known about
gender and age-related changes of the amplitude in tone-burst
(500 Hz) evoked VEMPs. The aim of the present paper was
therefore to investigate the influence of gender and age on VEMP
amplitude in relation to the tonic muscle activity.
VEMPs of 64 healthy subjects were recorded ipsilaterally during
air- or bone-conducted tone burst stimulation. The EMG of the
tonically activated sternocleidomastoid muscle was recorded
ipsilaterally with surface electrodes. Averages were taken for
P1/N1 amplitudes of male and female volunteers within 3
different age groups.
Although the amplitude decreased with increasing age the tonic
activity was not significant different between the age groups.
Consequently the relation between VEMP amplitude and tonic
muscle activity decreased with increasing age. The normative
values of the age-dependent relation between VEMP amplitude and
tonic muscle activity were described by the 90% confidence
interval of the individual values. Normative thresholds were
calculated. Normal saccular receptor function could be diagnosed
if the VEMP amplitude is above (or equal to) the normative value
at a given tonic muscle activity and age.
Normative data as described above are required to diagnose
isolated saccular defects, which are indicative of a vestibular