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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1999 Mar;70(3 Pt 2):A96-9.

Balance disturbances in individuals with vibroacoustic disease.

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Santo António dos Capuchos Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal.



In previous studies, patients with vibroacoustic disease (VAD) presented hyperintense foci in T2 of the cerebral white matter, brainstem and basal nuclei. The most probable etiology is ischemia. One of the most frequent complaints of these patients is balance disturbances which, in two cases, has threatened the patients' ability to maintain their jobs. The purpose of this study was to compare two methods, one neurophysiological (auditory evoked potentials - AEP) and the other structural imaging (brain MRI), in order to determine to what extent the changes detected with these methods may be related to each other in this pathology.


Twenty individuals occupationally exposed to large pressure amplitude (> or = 90 dB SPL) and low frequency (< or = 500 Hz) noise, received neurological and otorhinolaryngological examinations. All of them had previously received audiograms, tympanograms and electronystagmograms. All 20 patients also received brain MRI and AEP studies.


The individuals with vertigo and changes of the AEP present the greater number of changes in the brain MRI.


This could be an indication that in many VAD cases vertigo may have a central origin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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