Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Erin G. Piker


Untreated balance disorders can cause anxiety, social withdrawal, and even slow motor development in children, making early and accurate diagnosis crucial to patient care. One of the leading tests for the diagnosis of balance disorders is known as the cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP) test. The cVEMP test is the only clinically available tool that assesses the integrity of the organ of balance known as the saccule and its afferent pathway through the inferior vestibular nerve. The test is noninvasive and easy to administer, making patient diagnosis quick and effective rendering it crucial in the assessment of vestibular function in children. This is important, as most vestibular diagnostic assessments cannot be completed in young children because they are invasive or uncomfortable. While cVEMP testing has largely been studied and practiced on the adult population, little is known about the gold standard best practices for performing cVEMPs on a pediatric population, especially in young children under the age of 5 as the majority of pediatric cVEMP research studies focus on older children. The primary purpose of this project is to determine if the adult gold standard protocol of using electromyography (EMG) monitoring and amplitude normalization techniques during cVEMP testing is effective in reducing the amplitude variability of cVEMPs in a pediatric population. A secondary purpose is to provide normative data for cVEMPs in young children, including amplitude, interaural amplitude asymmetry, latency, and EMG values. A population of 10 pediatric participants aged 2-5 had cVEMP testing performed, with EMG monitoring and amplitude normalization, in an effort to see if these strategies reduce amplitude variability in the cVEMP results. Our results showed that while there was no observable effect of EMG correction on cVEMP amplitude asymmetry, there is a clinical need to monitor for EMG.



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