Prevalence of abnormal vestibular responses in children with sensorineural hearing loss

Erik Gadsbøll*, Alexander Wolfhagen Erbs, Dan Dupont Hougaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Dysfunction of the vestibular organs has a great deal of influence on children's balance. Children with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) may often have accompanying abnormal vestibular responses. Video head impulse test (vHIT) combined with a test battery of cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMPs, oVEMPs) make it possible to determine the prevalence of abnormal vestibular response in any of the five paired vestibular organs amongst children with SNHL.

METHOD: Prospective cross-sectional study including children aged 3-17 years with uni- or bilateral SNHL (bone-conduction (BC) pure tone average (PTA4) above 20 dB). Assessments included vHIT, cVEMP, and oVEMP. Descriptive data were analyzed. T-tests were performed to detect any correlation between the degree of SNHL and abnormal vestibular responses.

RESULTS: 42 children (27 males), a total of 63 ears with SNHL, mean BC PTA4 SNHL of 42.3 dB (32.0; 58.4 IR) were included. 28.6% had at least one ear with abnormal vestibular response. 97.6% (41/42) completed one and 75.0% (27/36) completed all vestibular examinations. Ears with two pathological examinations had significantly more severe SNHL than ears with one pathological or normal vestibular examinations (p = 0.008, p = 0.005).

CONCLUSION: All test methods used with this study were easy, fast, and comfortable for children (as young as 3 years of age) to undergo. Even a moderate SNHL might be associated with abnormal vestibular response. Structural damage to the organs is the most likely cause of vestibular deficit. Consensus on criteria defining pathological examinations with both vHIT and VEMPs are required for more accurate comparison with previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)4695-4707
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Children
  • Otology
  • SNHL
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • VEMP
  • Vestibular deficits
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials
  • Video head impulse test
  • vHIT
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Male
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials/physiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural/diagnosis
  • Child
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth


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