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November 1969

Vestibular Response in the Neonate and Infant

Author Affiliations

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
From the Department of Surgery, Vancouver General Hospital (Dr. Mitchell) and Health Centre for Children (Dr. Cambon), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(5):556-557. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030558004

IT has been generally accepted that the newborn infant has an intact vestibular apparatus and that with suitable stimulation a response can be elicited. Little has been specifically said in the literature and the statements made indicate some uncertainty.

In Paediatric Neurology, by Farmer, 1964,1 the following statement is made.

The presence of an intact vestibular function can be demonstrated even in the neonate, by holding the infant under the arms and rotating him in one direction or the other. Although the neonate's eyes remain closed much of the time, they nearly always remain open during rotation. The eyes will be seen to deviate in the direction of the rotation with intermittent nystagmus to the opposite side. The absence of a response is strongly suggestive of impaired vestibular function in all but the neonate in whom it is inconclusive.

Michishita reported in January 1967,2 a series of rotatory

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