European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 269, Issue 3, pp 747–751 | Cite as

Persistent direction-changing geotropic positional nystagmus

  • Hiroaki IchijoEmail author


The aims of the study were to clarify whether persistent direction-changing geotropic positional nystagmus contains vertical and torsional components, and to quantify the asymmetry. We analyzed nystagmus in four positions (healthy-ear-down, affected-ear-down, supine, nose-down) using three-dimensional video-oculography. Subjects were 18 patients with persistent direction-changing geotropic positional nystagmus, 16 females and 2 males, with a mean age of 55 years. Nystagmus was recorded using an infrared camera and the findings were converted to digital data. Using ImageJ, we performed three-dimensional video-oculography and measured maximum slow-phase velocity (MSV) of three components. Positional nystagmus was not purely horizontal. Eight (44%) patients revealed a vertical component (upward) and 15 (83%) patients had a torsional component in the healthy-ear-down position. Seven (39%) patients revealed a vertical component (downward) and 10 (56%) patients showed a torsional component in the nose-down position. The mean value of MSV of the horizontal component in the supine position was 9.3°/s and that in the nose-down position was 15.7°/s. The latter was significantly greater than the former (p < 0.05). Eye movements in the supine position and the nose-down position were not mirror images. These results suggest that vertical and torsional components occur from the horizontal semicircular canal, and that horizontal canal ocular reflex is influenced by input from the otolithic organs.


Video-oculography Vertical component Torsional component Maximum slow-phase velocity Light cupula Nystagmus 


Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ichijo Ear, Nose and Throat ClinicHirosakiJapan

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