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J Vestib Res. 2017;27(2-3):163-172. doi: 10.3233/VES-170614.

Differences in head impulse test results due to analysis techniques.

Author information

School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
International Collaboration for Repair Discoveries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Department of ORL, University of Basel Hospital, Switzerland.



Different analysis techniques are used to define vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain between eye and head angular velocity during the video head impulse test (vHIT). Comparisons would aid selection of gain techniques best related to head impulse characteristics and promote standardisation.


Compare and contrast known methods of calculating vHIT VOR gain.


We examined lateral canal vHIT responses recorded from 20 patients twice within 13 weeks of acute unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit onset. Ten patients were tested with an ICS Impulse system (GN Otometrics) and 10 with an EyeSeeCam (ESC) system (Interacoustics). Mean gain and variance were computed with area, average sample gain, and regression techniques over specific head angular velocity (HV) and acceleration (HA) intervals.


Results for the same gain technique were not different between measurement systems. Area and average sample gain yielded equally lower variances than regression techniques. Gains computed over the whole impulse duration were larger than those computed for increasing HV. Gain over decreasing HV was associated with larger variances. Gains computed around peak HV were smaller than those computed around peak HA. The median gain over 50-70 ms was not different from gain around peak HV. However, depending on technique used, the gain over increasing HV was different from gain around peak HA. Conversion equations between gains obtained with standard ICS and ESC methods were computed. For low gains, the conversion was dominated by a constant that needed to be added to ESC gains to equal ICS gains.


We recommend manufacturers standardize vHIT gain calculations using 2 techniques: area gain around peak HA and peak HV.


Head impulse test; eye movement analysis techniques; unilateral peripheral vestibular loss; vestibulo-ocular reflex

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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