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Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) in the Evaluation of Schistosomal Myeloradiculopathy

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  • 1 Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Saúde: Infectologia e Medicina Tropical e Departamento de Neurologia, Faculdade de Medicina e Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Universidade Católica de Pelotas, Escola de Engenharia e Arquitetura, Curso de Engenharia Elétrica, Pelotas, Brazil

Schistosomal myeloradiculopathy (SMR) is the most severe and disabling form of schistosomiasis. The diagnosis is based on clinical, laboratory, and image data. Vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) is a neurophysiologic test that assesses the vestibulospinal pathway through acoustic or galvanic stimuli. The aim of this study was to evaluate cervical spinal abnormalities in patients with SMR. Fifty-two subjects were evaluated, of whom 29 had SMR and 30 did not (normal control). Normal VEMP was observed in all volunteers without SMR. Abnormal VEMP was recorded in 34% of the group with SMR. After treatment, abnormal VEMP was found in 80% of those with persistent neurologic abnormalities. VEMP is a functional test, and the alteration may precede image abnormalities. This procedure may be useful for early diagnosis of schistosomal cervical spinal cord involvement.

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