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November 1955

Some Notes on the Practical Value of the Caloric Test in Clinical Practice

Author Affiliations

Lincoln, England

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;62(5):464-470. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.03830050006002

Although the clinical value of the caloric test has long been recognized, nevertheless, its originator, R. Bárány, appears to have made little effort to work out its quantitative basis, and until recently it has been used in a very rough and ready manner. Thus, Logan Turner's textbook (1952) recommends for the cold caloric test the use of water at 65 F and for the hot caloric test water at 112 to 115 F. Kerrison (1930) suggests the use of water at 86 F run into the ear for 40 seconds. Both authors describe the test with the patient seated in a chair. The generally accepted modification of these tests, as carried out in many clinics, entails syringing the ear with ice-cold water or cold tap water (20 C approximately). Absence of response to this stimulus is taken to denote a dead labyrinth, and no attempt is made to use less