Caloric stimulation - Results
Caloric test; Cold water calorics; Warm water calorics
Rapid, side-to-side eye movements should occur when cold or warm water is placed into the ear. The eye movements should be similar on both sides.
What abnormal results mean:
Abnormal results mean there may be damage to the nerve of the inner ear. If the rapid, side-to-side eye movements do not occur even after ice cold water is given, there may be damage to the nerve, the balance sensors of the inner ear, or the brain.
Abnormal results may be due to:
- Atherosclerosis of the blood supply of the ear
- Blood vessel disorders with bleeding (hemorrhage)
- Blood clots
- Brain or brainstem damage
- Congenital (present at birth) disorders
- Damage to the ear nerves due to certain antibiotics, antimalarial drugs, diuretics, and salicylates
- Ear tumors
- Rubella that damages the acoustic nerve
The test may also be done to diagnose or rule out:
- Reviewed last on: 2/5/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Baloh RW. Hearing and equilibrium. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 454.
Kerber KA, Baloh RW. Dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 18.
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