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Laryngoscope. 1996 Jan;106(1 Pt 1):6-9.

The oculocephalic response in the evaluation of the dizzy patient.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Human Communication, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.


The oculocephalic response (OCR) is a simple office maneuver that assesses the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). An abnormal response is manifested clinically as refixation saccades following a rapid horizontal head movement. Because little attention has been given to the OCR in the literature, a prospective study was undertaken with 112 consecutive patients who presented with dizziness and underwent OCR testing followed by caloric evaluation. Agreement was good between the OCR and caloric evaluation (kappa = 0.44). Specificity was quite high (97%); sensitivity was found to be less (39%). Positive (68%) and negative (90%) predictive values of the OCR illustrate that the clinician can often anticipate the results of caloric testing based on this response. This easily performed test of the VOR is a useful tool in the evaluation of the dizzy patient.

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