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To the Editor.—In this issue of the Archives (see page 358), Downie and Simmons state, "We differ from Coats1 in that our data show no tendency to lateralize the side of the caloric weakness at higher velocities of spontaneous nystagmus." The authors appear to have misinterpreted their own data, probably because they divided their patients into nystagmus-intensity subgroups too small to allow valid statistical analysis.
In the Table I have divided their patients into two large nystagmus-intensity subgroups. Combining patients with right- and left-beating spontaneous nystagmus (as I did in the report with which Downie and Simmons disagree) does demonstrate a "tendency to lateralize the side of the caloric weakness at higher velocities of spontaneous nystagmus." The only difference between my results and theirs is that the "tendency to lateralize" is less in their population (57% for low-intensity nystagmus and 69% for high-intensity nystagmus in their study vs
COATS AC. High-Intensity Spontaneous Nystagmus Direction Does Indicate Laterality. Arch Otolaryngol. 1975;101(6):401. doi:10.1001/archotol.1975.00780350065020
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