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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus
Otorinolaringologia 2003 December;53(4):139-43
Vestibular system in patients with tinnitus
Jozefowicz-Korczynska M., Lukomski M., Pajor A. M.
ENT Department, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Aim. Vertigo and balance disturbances are not frequently observed in tinnitus patients, so vestibular function is not often under study. We decided to evaluate the vestibular system in tinnitus patients without the presence of vertigo or dizziness.
Methods. Clinical examination, audiologic and electronystagmography tests in 50 tinnitus patients diagnosed in the ENT Department of the Medical University of Lodz and 30 healthy persons were carried out. The balance system was evaluated by 4-channel ENG system. ENG tests like spontaneous and positional nystagmus, caloric and kinetic tests, smooth pursuit and optokinetic tests with velocity 28º/s and 38º/s, and saccadic tests were performed. We applied age appropriate, our laboratory normative data for all tests. We compared each ENG test results of the tinnitus group with the control group and all tinnitus patients tests results with the group of 32 patients (64%) who were without any vertigo incident.
Results. Abnormal ENG outcome in tinnitus patients in caloric, kinetic tests and ocular-motor tests were significantly more often recorded than in the control group. In 17 subjects (34%) tinnitus group abnormalities were found in 2 ENG tests and in 10 persons (20%) in 3 tests. In the control group incorrect recordings were observed only in single tests. Signs of central vestibular system impairment were observed in 23 tinnitus patients (46%), peripheral in 2 patients (4%) and mixed in 6 patients (12%). ENG examination was in the normal range in 19 patients (38%). No statistical differences were found between the numbers of abnormal ENG tests results between all tinnitus patients and these who had previous vertigo.
Conclusion. In tinnitus patients abnormal recordings suggesting central vestibular disorder in ENG tests were frequently observed and distribution of ENG recordings was similar in persons with or without previous vertigo.