J Clin Neurol.  2020 Apr;16(2):277-284. 10.3988/jcn.2020.16.2.277.

Dissociated Results between Caloric and Video Head Impulse Tests in Dizziness: Prevalence, Pattern, Lesion Location, and Etiology

  • 1Department of Neurology, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Dizziness Center, Clinical Neuroscience Center, and Department of Neurology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Research Administration Team, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 4The MTV (Migraine, Tinnitus, and Vertigo) Clinic, Oh Neurology Center, Daegu, Korea.
  • 5Dizziness Center and Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.


and Purpose This study was designed to determine the prevalence, pattern, lesion location, and etiology of dissociation in the results of the bithermal caloric test and the horizontal video head impulse test (vHIT) in dizzy patients with various etiologies and disease durations.
We analyzed the results of bithermal caloric tests and vHITs performed over 26 months in 893 consecutive patients who underwent both tests within a 10-day period.
Dissociation in the results of the two tests was found in 162 (18.1%) patients. Among them, 123 (75.9%) had abnormal caloric tests (unilateral paresis in 118 and bilateral paresis in 5) but normal vHITs. Peripheral lesions were identified in 105 (85.4%) of these patients, with the main underlying diseases being Meniere's disease (62/105, 59%) and vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis (29/105, 27.6%). In contrast, central pathologies of diverse etiologies were found only in 18 (14.6%) patients. Abnormal vHIT (bilaterally positive in 18, unilaterally positive in 19, and hyperactive in 2) and normal caloric responses were found in 39 patients, with an equal prevalence of central (n=19) and peripheral (n=20) lesions. The peripheral lesions included vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis in seven patients and Meniere's disease in another seven. The central lesions had diverse etiologies.
Dissociation in the results between caloric tests and horizontal vHITs is not uncommon. The present patients with abnormal caloric tests and normal vHITs mostly had peripheral lesions, while central lesions were likely to underlie those with abnormal vHITs and normal caloric tests.


vertigo; vestibulo-ocular reflex; caloric test; head impulse test; vestibular diseases
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