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Is electronystagmography of diagnostic value in the elderly?

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Janet WilsonORCiD


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We aimed to determine the diagnostic value of electronystagmography (ENG) in a community-based sample of dizzy subjects over 65 years old. A total of 96 asymptomatic controls and 149 dizzy subjects underwent ENG. Clinical diagnoses were made on standardized criteria. ENG results were classed as normal or abnormal, according to reference ranges derived from the controls. Rates of ENG abnormality in different diagnostic categories, sensitivities, specificities and predictive values were calculated. Central vascular disease was common (105 out of 149 subjects); peripheral vestibular disease was not (14). Spontaneous nystagmus had a positive predictive value of 95% for central vascular disease, but was only 18%-sensitive, and was usually detectable clinically. ENG had no other significant diagnostic value. ENG failed to discriminate dizzy subjects from controls and failed to differentiate various dizziness syndromes. ENG was of no practical value in this community-derived sample of dizzy elderly subjects.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hajioff D, Barr-Hamilton RM, Colledge NR, Lewis SJ, Wilson JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology

Year: 2002

Volume: 27

Issue: 1

Pages: 27-31

ISSN (print): 1749-4478

ISSN (electronic): 1749-4486

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.0307-7772.2001.00517.x


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