Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Otol Neurotol. 2020 September ; 41(8): e1052–e1059. doi:10.1097/MAO.0000000000002703.


Open Access.


Objective—Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) are short-latency muscle potentials measured from the neck (cervical VEMP; cVEMP) or under the eyes (ocular VEMP; oVEMP), which provide information regarding function of the saccule and utricle, respectively. VEMPs are reliable when performed in adults; however, reliability of VEMPs in children is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine the test-retest reliability of c- and oVEMP testing in normal control children.

Study Design—Prospective.


Patients—Ten adults, 14 adolescent children and 13 young children with normal hearing.

Interventions—c- and oVEMP testing were completed across two test sessions in response to air-conduction 500 Hz tone-burst and impulse hammer stimuli. Additionally, oVEMP was completed using eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions.

Main Outcome Measures—Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the reliability of c- and oVEMP outcomes.

Results—When using air-conduction stimuli, c- and oVEMP amplitudes are reliable across test sessions in normal control children and adults. With impulse hammer stimuli, cVEMP amplitudes showed high reliability; however, oVEMP amplitudes showed low reliability in both eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions. Comparison between eyes-open and eyes-closed oVEMP conditions revealed shorter latencies and higher peak-to-peak amplitudes in the eyes-open condition.

Conclusions—In this small cohort of normal control children, cVEMPs are reliable using air-conduction and impulse hammer stimuli and oVEMPs are reliable using air-conduction stimuli in the eyes-open condition. oVEMP in eyes-closed conditions were less reliable compared to eyes-open conditions and resulted in a large number of absent responses.

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