Comparison of three video head impulse test systems for the diagnosis of bilateral vestibulopathy

T. S. van Dooren*, D. Starkov, F. M. P. Lucieer, B. Vermorken, A. M. L. Janssen, N. Guinand, A. Perez-Fornos, V. Van Rompaey, H. Kingma, R. van de Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction A horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex gain (VOR gain) of <0.6, measured by the video head impulse test (VHIT), is one of the diagnostic criteria for bilateral vestibulopathy (BV) according to the Barany Society. Several VHIT systems are commercially available, each with different techniques of tracking head and eye movements and different methods of gain calculation. This study compared three different VHIT systems in patients diagnosed with BV. Methods This study comprised 46 BV patients (diagnosed according to the Barany criteria), tested with three commercial VHIT systems (Interacoustics, Otometrics and Synapsys) in random order. Main outcome parameter was VOR gain as calculated by the system, and the agreement on BV diagnosis (VOR gain <0.6) between the VHIT systems. Peak head velocities, the order effect and covert saccades were analysed separately, to determine whether these parameters could have influenced differences in outcome between VHIT systems. Results VOR gain in the Synapsys system differed significantly from VOR gain in the other two systems [F(1.256, 33.916) = 35.681,p <0.000]. The VHIT systems agreed in 83% of the patients on the BV diagnosis. Peak head velocities, the order effect and covert saccades were not likely to have influenced the above mentioned results. Conclusion To conclude, using different VHIT systems in the same BV patient can lead to clinically significant differences in VOR gain, when using a cut-off value of 0.6. This might hinder proper diagnosis of BV patients. It would, therefore, be preferred that VHIT systems are standardised regarding eye and head tracking methods, and VOR gain calculation algorithms. Until then, it is advised to not only take the VOR gain in consideration when assessing a VHIT trial, but also look at the raw traces and the compensatory saccades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue numberSUPPL 1
Early online date27 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • VHIT
  • Video head impulse test
  • VOR gain
  • BV
  • Bilateral vestibulopathy
  • Covert saccades

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