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THE ENG BATTERY. ENG & VNG. Calibration and Gaze testing. Pt. asked to gaze at visual targets. At known angles to calibrate voltage per ° of eye movement Extraneous eye movements are recorded Spontaneous and/or gaze nystagmi may be observed

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The eng battery


Eng vng


Calibration and gaze testing

Calibration and Gaze testing

  • Pt. asked to gaze at visual targets.

  • At known angles to calibrate voltage per ° of eye movement

  • Extraneous eye movements are recorded

  • Spontaneous and/or gaze nystagmi may be observed

  • Pt. asked to close there eyes without shifting gaze.

Peripheral vs central


Single Direction

Linear slow phase

Conjugate movement

Visual Fixation Inhibits

Horiz, Vert, or Obl.

Sing, Dual, or Mult

Linear or Exponent

Conj, or disconj.

NoVis. inhibition

Peripheral Vs. Central

Peripheral gaze nystagmus

strongest on gaze in direction of beating

never vertical

declines quickly (within days to a couple of weeks)

Alexander's Law:1st degree Nystagmus: present only on lat. gaze2nd deg: both on center and lat. side of beat3rd deg: on center, and both lateral gazes.

Peripheral Gaze Nystagmus:

Central nervous system lesions

Central Nervous System Lesions:

  • Often bilateral beating

  • Can have vertical beating

  • declines slowly if at all

Centrally generated gaze nystagmi

Centrally Generated Gaze Nystagmi:

  • "Integrator nyst."

  • Bilateral Horiz. Gaze (Brun's) Nystagmus:

  • Rebound Nystagmus:

  • Periodic Alternating Nystagmus:

  • Vertical Nystagmus:

  • Congenital Nystagmus:

Integrator nyst

"Integrator nyst."

  • *decreasing exponential slow phase*

Bilateral horiz gaze brun s nystagmus

Bilateral Horiz. Gaze (Brun's) Nystagmus:

  • in large CPA tumors.

  • Gaze ipsi to lesion generates large slow nyst, with exp. decay in slow phase.

  • Gaze contra to lesion generates small fast nyst, in opposite direction of ipsi resp.

Rebound nystagmus

Rebound Nystagmus:

  • in Cerebellar disease

  • movement-generated, decays rapidly (10-20s)

  • in direction of movment, but may reverse.

Periodic alternating nystagmus

Periodic Alternating Nystagmus:

  • Medullary disease.

  • cyclic, 90 s one direction,

  • 10 s nothing or vertical,

  • then 90s in other direction, 10 s down time,

  • and back again.

  • present w/ eyes open or closed.

  • strongest in middle of phases>>visual impairment.

Vertical nystagmus

Vertical Nystagmus:

  • Cerebellar or inferior olivary disease

  • Can be generated by alcohol, drugs, too.

Congenital nystagmus

Congenital Nystagmus:

  • From fixed brain defect either genetic or developmental in origin.

  • Pendular and/or jerk-type

  • Switching back and forth.

  • Disorder of slow eye movement sub-system.

  • Null points or periods.

  • Convergence inhibition

Saccade testing

Saccade Testing

  • Horizontal

  • Vertical

  • Regular pattern or random

  • Through 20 to 30 degrees. 

Saccadic disorders

Saccadic Disorders:

  • Occular dysmetria: CBL lesion

    • akin to dysdiadochokinesia

    • overshoots/undershoots

  • Saccadic Slowing: basal ganglia lesion

    • normal saccade for 20 deg = 188/sec

  • Internuclear Ophthalmoplegia: MLF lesion

    • rounded tracings

    • one eye lags, smoothing curve.

    • separate eye recordings to confirm

Watch out for

Watch out for:

  • Superimposed nystagmii) gaze nystagmusii) congenital nystagmus

  • Drug effects: usually dysmetria

  • Patient problems:i) inattentionii) eye blinksiii) head movement: scalloped tracings

Tracking tests

Tracking Tests:

  • Following pendular movements

  • Problems to look for

    • saccadic pursuit-eyes snap repeatedly to keep up with movement = CNS lesion

    • disorganized pursuit, wandering, slow, inaccurate tracking - CNS lesion, usually above the level of theocculomotor nuclei

    • disconjugate pursuit, eyes don't stay together in tracking - CNS lesion

Things to look out for

Things to look out for:

  • Drug influences

  • Inattention: multiple, rapid gaze deviations

  • Head movement: depressed amplitude

  • superimposed nystagmus

    • gaze: R, L, or bil. >> jerks at extremes

    • congenital: often overlies entire tracing

Optokinetic test

Optokinetic test

  • Repeated tracking of moving target, producing nystagmatic motion.

  • Disorders:

    • asymmetryCNS lesiondifference of 30 degs or more, at more than one stim rate.

    • flat or declining response to faster rates. brainstem lesion, possible MS

    • inverted movementcongenital nystagmus

Positional testing

Positional Testing

  • Positions:sitting erect/supine/right lateral/left lateral/head hanging

  • Eyes closed/eyes open

  • NORMAL =No response with eyes open

    • With eyes closed and mentally busy:

    • some have direction-fixed positional nys

    • some have direction changing (w/ changein position)

    • ALWAYS Horizontal.

    • some intermittent, some persistent

Pathologic responses

Pathologic responses:

  • direction changing in single position

  • persistent in 3 or more of the 5 positions

  • intermittent in 4 or more positions

  • Speed of slow phase is 6 deg/s or more at greatest



  • positional nys w/ eyes open: CNS lesions

  • direction-fixed positional nys.: peripheral

    • differs from spont. in that it varies in intensity with position, or is absent in some positions.

    • appears in vestibular disease, e.g. Meniere's

    • does not show which side is abnormal.

  • Direction-changing nystagmus in a single position.

    • CNS

    • Positional alcohol nystagmus

The dix hallpike maneuver

The Dix-Hallpike Maneuver:

  • Detection of BPN.

  • Positioning: Quickly from sitting to head hanging R or L.

  • Shows Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

  • then back to sitting.

The eng battery


  • Rotary/torsional movement

  • latency: ~~10 sec

  • fatigues within 30 to 45 sec

  • usually beating to lower ear.

  • accompanied by vertigo

  • R, L, or in both positions

The eng battery


  • is most common problem you'll see clinically.

  • Probable Canalithiasis or Cupulithiasis

  • Can be Centrally generated

Caloric testing

Caloric Testing

  • Via Water or Air

  • Right Cold 30º C.24 º C.

  • Left Cold 30º C. 24 º C.

  • Left Warm 44º C. 50 º C.

  • Right Warm 44º C. 50 º C.

  • Wait 5 mins in between, 10 between LC and LW

  • Recheck Calibration in between.

  • Eyes closed first 1-1\2 minutes then open for 10 secs.

Response cows

Response COWS:

  • Warm builds cupulopetal flow

  • Thus, nystagmus beats toward warm ear, away from cold ear.

  • Cold-opposite

  • Warm-same.



  • duration onset of irr to last beat (200 secs)

  • frequency of nyst at most intense part (?)

  • speed of slow phase at most intense part (10 - 80)

Caloric response measures

Caloric Response Measures:

  • Unilateral Weakness: best index of periph lesion(RC + RW) - (LC + LW) / (Sum of All 4)

    > 0.25

  • Directional Preponderance: of little dx value(RW + LC) - (RC + LW) / (Sum of All 4)

    > 0.30

More caloric measures

More Caloric Measures:

  • Bilateral weakness: Average response in each earless than 6 deg/sec

  • Fixation Index: Eyes Open / Eyes Closed*

    > 0.60 = Lack of fixation: CNS lesion.

    *(speed with eyes closed just prior to eyes open)

Premature caloric reversal cns lesion

Premature Caloric Reversal: CNS lesion.

  • if before 140 s,

  • and speed > 6-7 deg/sec

  • must be distinguished from resumption of a pre-existing nystagmus.

Caloric inversion perversion

Caloric Inversion, Perversion:

  • Inversion: entire response beats wrong direction



  • Perversion: vertical or oblique nystagmus.


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