a1 Department of Otolaryngology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
a2 Department of Audiology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
a3 Department of Cardiology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK
a4 Centre for Applied Medical Statistics, University of Cambridge, UK
Objectives: To determine whether the caloric vestibular test causes significant changes in heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure.
Materials and methods: Changes in heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure before and after caloric irrigation were compared with the degree of nystagmus (as measured by maximum slow phase velocity) and the patient's subjective dizziness (scored from 0 to 10). A cardiologist reviewed each patient's heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure changes. Patients' anxiety levels were also assessed.
Results: Eighteen patients were recruited. There were no adverse events in any patient. There were no overall significant differences between the heart rate and mean arterial pressure before and after each irrigation. There was a significant correlation between the maximum slow phase velocity and patients' subjective dizziness scores.
Conclusion: Heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure are not significantly influenced by the caloric vestibular test. This preliminary study will enable patients with stable cardiovascular disease to be recruited for further risk determination.
(Accepted December 29 2009)
(Online publication March 19 2010)
Presented at the British Academy of Audiology Conference, 28 November 2009, Liverpool, UK.
Mr A Kasbekar takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.
Competing interests: None declared
The first two authors contributed equally to this paper, and should be considered as joint first authors.