Veterans with dizziness recruit compensatory saccades in each semicircular canal plane although VOR gain is normal

Thuy Tien C. Le, Kelly Brewer, Jorge Serrador, Michael C. Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Exposure to brain injury via blast or blunt mechanisms disrupts multiple sensorimotor systems simultaneously. Large numbers of US Gulf War era and Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are suffering the symptom of dizziness-presumed due to 'Multi-Sensory Impairment', a clinical pattern of damage to the auditory, visual and vestibular sensorimotor systems. OBJECTIVE: To describe the oculomotor response to rapid head rotation in a population of veterans with dizziness. We also describe the reliability of using the video head impulse test (vHIT) in a veteran population. METHODS: We used the vHIT to evaluate the vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) gain and presence of compensatory saccades (CS) in each semicircular canal of 81 veterans (31% TBI) with dizziness. Data was collected using the ICS Otometric™ vHIT. Data was processed using both the Otometric™ software and custom software written in MATLAB™. This data was evaluated through Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum test and analysis of regression. RESULTS: Veterans with dizziness recruit CS in all semicircular canal planes even though their VOR gain is normal. The vHIT is a reliable clinical test to quantify the metrics of the VOR and CS in veterans. CONCLUSION: Veterans with dizziness symptoms use compensatory saccades in all planes of semicircular canal rotation, despite having normal peripheral VOR gain during rapid head rotation. The video head impulse test is a stable measure of vestibular slow phase and metrics of compensatory saccades in veterans with dizziness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • compensatory saccade
  • vestibular-ocular reflex
  • video head impulse test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Veterans with dizziness recruit compensatory saccades in each semicircular canal plane although VOR gain is normal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this