Printer Friendly

Direction-fixed positional nystagmus; spontaneous nystagmus.

Some otolaryngologists would consider these electronystagmography (ENG) tracings to be normal because the nystagmus does not reach 6[degrees]/sec. Unfortunately, this erroneous reasoning has crept into our literature. The misunderstanding is based on a study of subjects without vestibular symptoms, some of whom had almost no caloric nystagmus from one ear and other abnormal findings. With our knowledge of vestibular rehabilitation therapy today, it is clear that an asymptomatic condition can exist within an abnormally functioning vestibular system.

In the tracings above, the nystagmus does not vary more than 1[degrees]/sec from one position to the next. This finding defines spontaneous nystagmus. No matter which position the head is in, the direction and velocity of the nystagmus remain unchanged. This concept avoids defining the "spontaneous" position.

This is an abnormal positional study result, which indicates a vestibular system abnormality of no localizing value as to site (i.e., peripheral or central) or side. This type of abnormality is usually seen in a patient who has a peripheral vestibular disorder of an irritative variety in the left ear. The side is best further deduced from additional ENG information, audiology, history, and neurotologic examination. Turning the neck does not have any effect on the nystagmus in any position.

From Neurotologic Associates, P.C., New York City.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Medquest Communications, LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Brookler, Kenneth H.
Publication:Ear, Nose and Throat Journal
Date:Oct 1, 1999
Previous Article:Parotid mass: Pleomorphic adenoma (mixed tumor).
Next Article:Treacher Collins syndrome.

Related Articles
Positional nystagmus in only one position.
Fundamentals of electronystagmography.
Electronystagmography in a patient with Meniere's syndrome.
Positional vertigo as a first symptom of a cerebellopontine angle cholesteatoma: Case report.
Unexpected positional findings in a patient with an inner ear disorder.
Electronystagmography: Nausea on extension of the neck.
Electronystagmography: Nausea on extension of the neck.
Importance of simultaneous binaural bithermal caloric testing. (Guest Editorial).
Electronystagmography in a patient with recent disequilibrium and a family history of otosclerosis. (Vestibulology Clinic).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters