Scientific article
Open access

Sound localization in patients with bilateral vestibulopathy

Published inEuropean archives of oto-rhino-laryngology, vol. 279, p. 5601-5613
Publication date2022-12
First online date2022-05-10

Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate if bilaterally (partially) absent vestibular function during static sound localization testing, would have a negative impact on sound localization skills. Therefore, this study compared horizontal static sound localization skills of normal-hearing patients with bilateral vestibulopathy (BV) and healthy controls.

Methods: Thirteen normal-hearing patients with BV and thirteen age-matched healthy controls were included. Sound localization skills were tested using seven loudspeakers in a frontal semicircle, ranging from - 90° to + 90°. Sound location accuracy was analyzed using the root-mean-square error (RMSE) and the mean absolute error (MAE). To evaluate the severity of the BV symptoms, the following questionnaires were used: Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Oscillopsia severity questionnaire (OSQ), 12-item Spatial, Speech, and Qualities Questionnaire (SSQ12), and Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3).

Results: The RMSE and MAE were significantly larger (worse) in the BV group than in the healthy control group, with respective median RMSE of 4.6° and 0°, and a median MAE of 0.7° and 0°. The subjective reporting of speech perception, spatial hearing, and quality of life only demonstrated a moderate correlation between DHI (positive correlation) and HUI total score (negative correlation), and localization scores.

Conclusion: Static sound localization skills of patients with BV were only mildly worse compared to healthy controls. However, this difference was very small and therefore most likely due to impaired cognitive function. The vestibular system does not seem to have a modulating role in sound localization during static conditions, and its impact is negligible in contrast to the impact of hearing impairment. Furthermore, the subjective reporting of speech perception, spatial hearing, and quality of life was not strongly correlated with localization scores.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03690817.

  • Auditory perception
  • Bilateral vestibulopathy
  • Hearing loss
  • Sound localization
  • Vestibular function tests
  • Bilateral Vestibulopathy
  • Cochlear Implantation
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Hearing Loss / surgery
  • Humans
  • Sound Localization
  • Speech Perception
Citation (ISO format)
PEETERMANS, Olivier et al. Sound localization in patients with bilateral vestibulopathy. In: European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology, 2022, vol. 279, p. 5601–5613. doi: 10.1007/s00405-022-07414-7
Main files (2)
Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal0937-4477

Technical informations

Creation09/13/2022 1:31:00 PM
First validation09/13/2022 1:31:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 10:49:36 AM
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