[Note: The inner ear controls balance (via the vestibular system). The VEMP assessment is a computerized test that measures portions of this balance system in patients with symptoms of dizziness. It involves raising or turning the head sharply as directed.]
Objective: To assess vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.
Methods: Twenty-four patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (two men and 22 women) and 21 female controls were included in the study. All patients underwent vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing.
Results: Statistical comparison of fibromyalgia patients with control subjects showed a significant difference with respect to n23 latencies and interpeak latencies (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in p13 latencies, nor in p13 amplitudes, n23 amplitudes or interpeak amplitudes (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Although patients with fibromyalgia syndrome generally have subjective neurotological symptoms, clinical and laboratory assessments usually fail to detect any objective abnormality.
However, it is possible to detect abnormalities on vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing in such patients, indicating dysfunction in the vestibulospinal pathway, possibly in the saccule.
Elongation of the n23 latency and of the interpeak latency of waves p13-n23, during vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing, may be a useful, objective indicator demonstrating neurotological involvement in fibromyalgia syndrome patients.
Future research investigating the mechanisms of this latency elongation may help increase understanding of the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome.
Source: Journal of Laryngology and Otology, Feb 22, 2010; 1-6. PMID: 20170583, by Bayazit YA, Celenk F, Gunduz AG, Gunduz B, Ondag N, Meray J. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.