The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Cervical and Ocular Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials in Fibromyalgia Syndrome Patients


Department of Otolaryngology, Audio-Vestibular Unit, Cairo University, Kasr-Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt


Department of Rheumatology, Cairo University, Kasr-Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt

J Int Adv Otol 2024; 20: 247-254
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2024.231269
Read: 347 Downloads: 90 Published: 23 May 2024

BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain condition that may be associated with dysfunction in the central nervous system. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the vestibulo-spinal reflex (VSR) and vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in FMS using the cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP) and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) tests, respectively, and to evaluate their relation to disease severity.

METHODS: This study included 30 female FMS patients and 30 well-matched healthy controls. They underwent full history taking and assessment of the severity of dizziness/vertigo using the Dizziness Handicap Inventory; assessment of the severity of FMS symptoms using the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire; bedside examination of the dizzy patient; videonystagmography, cVEMP, and oVEMP tests; basic audiologic evaluation; and uncomfortable loudness level (UCL) testing.

RESULTS: Dizziness was reported in 46.6% and vertigo in 11.1% of patients. Abnormalities in cVEMP (50%) and oVEMP (63.3%) were mostly unilateral, irrespective of FMS severity. Disease duration affected only the oVEMP amplitude. Fibromyalgia syndrome patients had a statistically significant lower UCL and narrower dynamic range compared to controls.

CONCLUSION: The VSR and VOR are commonly affected in FMS patients, and findings suggest central sensitization involving the brain stem. We recommend routine cVEMP and oVEMP testing to assess brainstem function in FMS patients.

Cite this article as: Dabbous AO, Abdel Baki NM, Hassanein MM, Sheta SM. Cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in fibromyalgia syndrome patients. J Int Adv Otol. 2024;20(3):247-254.

EISSN 2148-3817