To 1) characterize vestibular-evoked myogenic potential responses in children and young adults with sports-related concussion (SRC) histories as compared with a normal healthy control group, and 2) correlate VEMP characteristics to SRC/sport history outcomes.
Prospective cohort study.
Seventy-six children and young adults with and without a history of SRC received cervical and ocular VEMP testing using a 500 Hz tone burst air conduction stimuli. VEMP response parameters (response rates, peak latencies, and peak-to-peak amplitudes) were assessed. Other clinical vestibular measures were performed. In the SRC group, sport history outcomes including number of SRC sustained over a lifetime, years of playing contact sports, and length of time playing contact sports were collected via in-person questionnaire.
Children and young adults with SRC had significantly reduced oVEMP responses and peak-to-peak amplitudes and greater amplitude response asymmetries between left and right ear. There was no effect of group on cVEMP findings. A greater frequency of SRCs sustained throughout a lifetime, a greater number of contact sports played, and a longer duration of playing a contact sport correlated with significantly poorer VEMP response characteristics.
Our results suggest that SRC and repeated subclinical head impact events have an effect on oVEMP outcomes. SRC may affect the utricle, superior vestibular nerve, and/or brainstem-mediated vestibular-ocular-reflex pathway. The prevalence of post-concussion-related dizziness is becoming increasingly common in a pediatric-otology clinic, thus performing VEMP testing in youth post-SRC provides an objective, noninvasive, and cost-effective method for monitoring the effects of sports-related impact on the vestibular system and related neural pathways.
3 Laryngoscope, 2021.

© 2021 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.