2014 Inner Ear Physiology

Example test questionCaloric test

Caloric test

Critical facts iconTo summarize, in a person with a normally functioning cortex, injection of cool water into the right ear, will produce a LEFTBEATING NYSTAGMUS (COLD=OPPOSITE, WARM=SAME --> COWS).  If the patient is COMATOSE, the SACCADE WILL BE ABSENT (the VOR, which operates in the brainstem is still functional and the pursuit will be intact).  If the patient is BRAIN DEAD, BOTH the PURSUIT and SACCADE WILL BE ABSENT.

Self learning exercise:  be able to describe activity at each stage of the VOR pathway during caloric stimulation

Email: Dr. Janet Fitzakerley | ©2014 University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth | Last modified: 15-feb-14 9:04 PM