Ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) reveals mesencephalic HTLV-1-associated neurological disease

Autoři: Tatiana Rocha Silva aff001;  Ludimila Labanca aff001;  Júlia Fonseca de Morais Caporali aff001;  Marco Aurélio Rocha Santos aff002;  Luciana Macedo de Resende aff002;  Rafael Teixeira Scoralick Dias aff001;  Denise Utsch Gonçalves aff001
Působiště autorů: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Infectologia e Medicina Tropical, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil aff001;  Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Fonoaudiológicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217327



Vestibular Myogenic Evoked Potential (VEMP) evaluates vestibulo-ocular and vestibulo-collic reflexes involved in the function of the otolithic organs and their afferent pathways. We compared the results of cervical and ocular VEMP in HTLV-1 associated myelopathy (HAM) and HTLV-1-asymptomatic infection.

Participants and methods

This cross-sectional study included 52 HTLV-1-infected individuals (26 HAM and 26 asymptomatic carriers) and 26 seronegative controls. The groups were similar regarding age and gender. Participants underwent simultaneous ocular and cervical VEMP. The stimulus to generate VEMP was a low-frequency tone burst sound tone burst, with an intensity of 120 decibels normalized hearing level, bandpass filter from 10 to 1,500 Hertz (Hz), with 100 stimuli at 500 Hz and 50 milliseconds recording time. The latencies of the electrophysiological waves P13 and N23 for cervical VEMP and N10 and P15 waves for ocular VEMP were compared among the groups. The absence or delay of the electrophysiological waves were considered abnormal results.


Ocular VEMP was similar among the groups for N10 (p = 0.375) and different for P15 (p≤0.001). Cervical VEMP was different for P13 (p = 0.001) and N23 (p = 0.003). About ocular VEMP, in the HTLV-1-asymptomatic group, normal waves were found in 23(88.5%) individuals; in HAM group, normal waves were found in 7(26.9%). About cervical VEMP, 18(69.2%) asymptomatic carriers presented normal waves and only 3(11.5%) patients with HAM presented normal waves. Abnormalities in both VEMPs were found in 1(3.8%) asymptomatic carrier and in 16(61.5%) patients with HAM.


Neurological impairment in HAM was not restricted to the spinal cord. The mesencephalic connections, tested by ocular VEMP, have been also altered. Damage of the oculomotor system, responsible for eye stabilization during head and body movements, may explain why dizziness is such a frequent complaint in HAM.

Klíčová slova:

Central nervous system – Electrode recording – Evoked potentials – HTLV-1 – Reflexes – Spine – Reference electrodes


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