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January 1995

Peripheral Generators of the Vestibular Evoked Potentials in the Cat

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Hadassah University Hospital (Drs Li and Elidan), and the Department of Physiology, Hebrew University—Hadassah Medical School (Dr Sohmer), Jerusalem, Israel.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(1):34-38. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890010022005

Objectives:  The contributions of each of the vertical semicircular canals (SCCs) and otoliths to the short-latency vestibular evoked potentials in response to angular acceleration impulses were studied in the cat.

Design:  The experiments were conducted on unilateral labyrinthectomized cats. Vestibular activation was achieved by delivering angular acceleration impulses to the animal's head, held in the position presumed to be optimal for maximal stimulation of either the anterior or the posterior SCCs before and after obliteration of the SCC studied, and before and after obliteration of the other SCCs and ablation of the maculae.

Interventions:  Unilateral labyrinthectomy, obliteration of the SCCs, and ablation of the otoliths and section of the commissural vestibular fibers in the brain stem with histologic confirmation were carried out in the experiments.

Results:  Following selective obliteration of either the anterior or the posterior SCC of the remaining ear and stimulation in the presumed optimal plane of the obliterated canal, the early prominent waves (P1 and P2) disappeared, leaving only much smaller-amplitude waves. These were severely depressed after ablation of the maculae. On the other hand, the vestibular evoked potentials in response to excitatory stimuli were not affected by obliteration of the other two SCCs and ablation of the maculae.

Conclusion:  These results indicate that when the head is stimulated in the optimal plane of each of the SCCs, the vestibular evoked potentials are generated mainly by the cristae ampullaris being stimulated, while the otoliths contribute smaller responses.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:34-38)