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The subjective visual horizontal after stapedotomy: evidence for an increased resting activity in otolithic afferents
Karolinska Hospital.
1998 (English)In: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, ISSN 0001-6489, Vol. 118, no 3, 299-306 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The subjective visual horizontal (SVH) was measured by means of a small rotatable luminous line in darkness in the upright body position and at 10, 20 and 30 degrees of body tilt to the right and left prior to, and during a follow-up period after, stapedotomy in 12 patients with otosclerosis. In the acute stage after surgery, SVH in the upright body position was significantly tilted away from the operated side. In addition, the perception of roll tilt towards the operated side (Kop) was significantly increased after stapedotomy, while the perception of roll tilt towards the healthy side (Khe) showed a slight but not significant reduction. After exclusion of two outliers, a statistically significant correlation was found between changes in Kop and in Khe. The slope of the regression line was 1.8:1, probably corresponding to a preference of the utricle for ipsilateral as opposed to contralateral head tilt. In four patients there was a weak ( < 1 degrees/s) spontaneous nystagmus, not systematically related to the side of surgery, while in most cases there were no nystagmus or subjective vertigo symptoms. These specific changes in the subjective horizontal show that the otolithic effects on perception can be dissociated from canal effects. Further, the results are opposite to those for patients with unilateral loss of vestibular function. The tilt of SVH after stapedotomy indicates an increase in resting activity of utricular afferents. In addition, based on recent theories on otolith function, we suggest that an increased activity in saccular afferents is of major importance for the changes in roll-tilt perception because of its interaction with the utricle on the central nervous level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 118, no 3, 299-306 p.
Keyword [en]
utricle, saccule, vestibular, gravity, roll-tilt perception, otosclerosis, stapes surgery
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-45653DOI: 10.1080/00016489850183368ISI: 000074100500003PubMedID: 9655202OAI: diva2:452890
QC 20111102Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2011-11-02Bibliographically approved

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Tribukait, Arne
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