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VNG Results

by on March 22, 2010

The VNG test was on Friday.  Prior to the test, Satomi couldn’t take any pain killers as they could interfere with the test results.  I was worried about it but it went just fine.  It was mostly “soreness” as she described it. 

“Geez Satomi, maybe all your pain is just imaginary…” 

She didn’t think it was funny either.

The premise for the test is that a nystagmus (involuntary, rapid, oscillatory eye movement) is inter-related with the vestibular system (balance and dizziness center of the inner ear).  In essence, the test quantifies her dizziness by measuring the movement of her eyes.  The movement was tracked using some helicopter pilot night vision goggle things-it was really cool.

It’s important to quantify the dizziness so future changes (hopefully improvements) can be compared.  Otherwise, the comparison is completely subjective.  I really wish we could have done this test before.

It began with Satomi sitting on a chair and a series of moving dots on the wall.  Her head was moved in various positions and the test repeated.  It also included a shake test.  She then climbed up on the table (with only a little bit of help) and got into various positions.  She looked straight ahead as she laid still in those positions.  Finally, a device that would cool/heat each ear individually was used to directly stimulate the right/left vestibular system.  It was a very unusual sensation and it made Satomi hugely dizzy.  All-in-all, the tests took just over an hour and it went smoothly.

Before I talk about the results, keep in mind that this information is based solely on my informal discussions with the Audiologist and looking over her shoulder at the computer screen.  They are crude at best and false at worst.

Both the Audiologist and I didn’t expect the results.  Satomi has a horizontal nystagmus when she gazes to her left AND her right.  Actually, the data showed that her right side was WEAKER. 

With her hearing loss on her left side as well as her history of a left gaze nystagmus, the persistence of the left side issues were status quo.  The nystagmus issues on her “good side” were surprising.  The Audiologist actually made it a point to show it to us so that there was no question that the data was not mislabeled.

You all may recall back in early 2009 that a nystagmus in her left gaze was the primary trigger to finding the original brain tumor.  I take these results very seriously.

I am worried. 

While it is true that we have never had this test before so there is an obvious lack of comparison, I find the simple presence of a right nystagmus alarming.  As I recall, there was no mention of a right nystagmus in past office evaluations.  I’m going to review her medical files later today.

This morning (Monday) I have already contacted our Oncologist office to request a Pet-CT or Brain-MRI.  Our last full-body Pet-CT was in November and was clear for cancer but it triggered all those Vertebroplasty session at the City of Hope.  Our last Brain MRI was back in July of 2009.  It’s about time she had another scan of some sort.  I’m waiting for a call back.

We have an appointment with the House Ear Clinic doctor tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon so we should get the official test results then.

Update 11:44am:  After searching through Satomi’s medical records there was mention of a “nystagmus in both directions” in our Neurosurgeon’s Consult Note back in April 2009.  A scan is still warranted but I’m a lot less worried now.  See my post “Going Paperless” for more information.

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From → Medical Update

One Comment
  1. Pegs permalink

    Glad you’re not as worried. Okura and I were worrying about you worrying. =} Satomi, you look great! I hope this is a sign of great things to come!

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