Video-oculography devices are now used to quantify the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) at the bedside using the head impulse test (HIT). Little is known about the impact of disruptive phenomena (e.g. corrective saccades, nystagmus, fixation losses, eye-blink artifacts) on quantitative VOR assessment in acute vertigo. This study systematically characterized the frequency, nature, and impact of artifacts on HIT VOR measures. From a prospective study of 26 patients with acute vestibular syndrome (16 vestibular neuritis, 10 stroke), we classified findings using a structured coding manual. Of 1,358 individual HIT traces, 72% had abnormal disruptive saccades, 44% had at least one artifact, and 42% were uninterpretable. Physicians using quantitative recording devices to measure head impulse VOR responses for clinical diagnosis should be aware of the potential impact of disruptive eye movements and measurement artifacts. i 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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