Static Positional Nystagmus in the Healthy Vestibular System.

Larissa J Mann, Melanie Dawn Nelson, Mark Edward Lehman, Christine C Trenkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A repeat of the Barber and Wright (1973) study on static positional nystagmus (PN) using more accurate recording techniques. Purpose: The purpose was to further characterize PN and, using current data, introduce new clinical criteria for its identification. Research Design: Static PN was recorded in ten positions with vision denied. Each position was analyzed using age, gender, presence, direction, and persistence of nystagmus while taking into account the number of beats and mean slow phase velocity (SPV). Study Sample: Subjects were 100 healthy patients that were asymptomatic with no known neurological disorders were tested. Intervention: No intervention was employed. Data Collection: Analysis of Variance, descriptive statistics and confidence intervals were used to describe results. Results: Results showed 74% of normal subjects had horizontal nystagmus in at least one position. Only 7% of the observed nystagmus was persistent. The average slow phase velocity was 2˚/sec. The mean number of positions in which nystagmus was observed was three. Neither age nor gender influenced the occurrence of nystagmus. Forty three percent of the participants had vertical nystagmus in at least one position, however, the slow phase velocity was 2o/sec or less. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that intermittent or persistent PN in 4 or fewer positions should not be considered pathological when the SPV is 4˚/sec or less (n=100). Observance of vertical nystagmus in one position should not be considered pathological if the SPV is 2o/sec or less. Suggested positions for positional testing should include seated upright, supine, head right, head left, head hanging and the pre-caloric (30˚ supine) positions. Fixation when PN is observed is indicated
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
StateAccepted/In press - 1800


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