J Am Acad Audiol 2001; 12(09): 445-452
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1745632
Original Article

Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials: Preliminary Report

Faith Wurm Akin
Audiology and Speech Pathology Service, James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home, Tennessee; Department of Communicative Disorders, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
Owen D. Murnane
Audiology and Speech Pathology Service, James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home, Tennessee; Department of Communicative Disorders, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
› Author Affiliations


Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) are short-latency electromyograms evoked by high-level acoustic stimuli recorded from surface electrodes over the tonically contracted sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. These responses are presumed to originate in the saccule. The purpose of this preliminary report is to provide an overview of our initial experience with the VEMP by describing the responses obtained in five subjects. Click-evoked VEMPs were present at short latencies in two normal-hearing subjects, one patient with profound congenital sensorineural hearing loss, and one patient with a severe sensorineural hearing loss due to Meniere’s disease. Additionally, VEMPs were absent in a patient with profound sensorineural hearing loss following removal of a cerebellopontine angle tumor. The amplitude of the VEMP was influenced by the amount of background activity of the SCM muscle, stimulus level, and stimulus frequency.Tone-burst evoked responses showed an inverse relationship between stimulus frequency and response latency. VEMPs may prove to be a reliable technique in the clinical assessment of vestibular function.

Abbreviations: EMG = electromyography, SCM = sternocleidomastoid, VEMP = vestibular evoked myogenic potential

Publication History

Article published online:
07 March 2022

© 2001. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.

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