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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Click evoked myogenic potentials in the differential diagnosis of acute vertigo.

OBJECTIVE: In response to loud clicks, a vestibular evoked potential can be recorded from sternocleidomastoid muscles, called "click evoked myogenic potential" (CEMP). This paper reports on the usefulness of CEMP in the differential diagnosis of acute vertigo of presumed vestibular origin. METHODS: CEMP was examined in 40 patients with acute vertigo of vestibular origin (26 with acute peripheral vestibulopathy, five with Ménière's disease, three with benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo (BPPV), six with psychogenic vertigo) and the results compared with standard caloric reaction (CR). For CEMPs, clicks were delivered unilaterally via a pair of headphones. EMG activity was collected by surface electrodes placed on the sternocleidomastoid belly and averaged. RESULTS: In 29 patients, CR was unilaterally abnormal, pointing to a peripheral vestibular lesion. Seventeen of them had a corresponding loss of CEMPs; the other 12 patients had a normal CEMP. The remaining 11 patients had normal results in both tests. In comparison with CR, CEMP showed a sensitivity of 59% and a specificity of 100% for peripheral vestibular disorders. CONCLUSION: CR is a test of the horizontal canal whereas CEMP is thought to be a sacculus test. Different results of CR and CEMP may be due to this difference between target organs stimulated and may be of prognostic value.[1]


  1. Click evoked myogenic potentials in the differential diagnosis of acute vertigo. Heide, G., Freitag, S., Wollenberg, I., Iro, H., Schimrigk, K., Dillmann, U. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. (1999) [Pubmed]
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