The postural instability of patients with vestibular loss (11 with bilateral and 101 with unilateral vestibular loss) at different times following the lesion was investigated by means of posturography and compared to healthy subjects. In addition, subjects submitted to galvanic vestibular stimulation were also studied to compare their postural performances with those of patients with complete unilateral vestibular lesion. The platform consisted of a static computerized force platform, on which a seesaw platform could be placed to test the subjects in dynamic conditions. The displacement of the center of foot pressure was measured under different conditions: subjects standing on the fixed platform, eyes open and eyes closed and subjects standing on the seesaw platform, eyes open and eyes closed. In the last condition, balance was tested in the subject’s pitch plane by allowing the platform to rotate forwards and backwards only and in the patient’s roll plane by allowing the platform to rotate to the left and to the right. The results showed that in static conditions, only bilateral vestibular loss patients had abnormal values compared to controls. In contrast, in dynamic eyes-closed conditions, both bilateral and unilateral patients could be differentiated from controls. Bilateral patients were unable to stand up without falling in both pitch and roll planes. Unilateral patients fell in the first week following the lesion and exhibited increased postural oscillations in both planes from the 2-week up to the 1-year postlesion stage. In addition and more importantly, they fell more often or had higher sway in the roll than in the pitch plane. Therefore, this study suggests that dynamic posturography on a seesaw platform could be a valuable tool for clinical diagnosis and quantitative analysis of imbalance in patients suffering from a unilateral vestibular loss up to 1 year after the lesion.

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