Click evoked neurogenic vestibular potentials (NVESTEPs): A method of assessing the function of the vestibular system

Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, E. Zamba-Papanicolaou, M. Pantziaris, T. Kyriakides, S. Papacostas, P. Myrianthopoulou, C. Pattichis, I. Iliopoulos, C. Piperidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To obtain neurogenic vestibular evoked potentials (NVESTEPs) with surface scalp recording using high intensity auditory clicks. The same stimulus is used in myogenic vestibular evoked potentials which has been shown to evoke potentials in the vestibular division of the vestibulocochlear nerve. Methods: A whole head recording with surface EEG electrodes was performed using high intensity clicks in one normal volunteer to determine the best recording position for vestibular evoked potentials. The results were compared to responses at moderate click intensities used for brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs). The difference in the location of the two responses on the scalp was assumed to be from the vestibular system. Results: Responses specific to the high intensity clicks were best obtained in the parietal areas, with no reproducible responses obtained in the same area with moderate intensity clicks normally used in BAEPs. Recordings in neurologically normal volunteers showed a consistent response with a negative polarity at around 3ms, which we therefore called N3. Two case studies are presented. The first case is a patient with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss with NVESTEPs present, suggesting that NVESTEPs is not a cochlear response. The second case is a patient with multiple sclerosis with demyelinating lesions in the pons and an unobtainable NVESTEP response. Conclusion: NVESTEPs is a possible new diagnostic technique that may be specific for the vestibular pathway. It has potential use in patients with symptoms of dizziness, subclinical symptoms in multiple sclerosis, and in disorders specific for the vestibular nerve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Brainstem
  • Click
  • Evoked potential
  • Neurogenic
  • Vestibular


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