Vestibular Autorotational Test (VAT)

Vestibular Autorotational Test (VAT)

The VAT was developed in 1986 and is the best instrument to determine a range of inner ear disorders. Unlike the ENG or Rotating Chair, the VAT tests the range of natural, everyday motion, and evaluates both the horizontal and vertical inner ear systems. The VAT is a non-invasive test for patients with dizzy and balance complaints.

The VAT is an easily repeatable procedure that facilitates Ototoxic and Post-Surgical monitoring.

The VAT provides objective documentation to monitor central VOR (vestibular-ocular reflexes) compensation during vestibular rehabilitation. Baseline test results help the therapist design a treatment plan in conjunction with the physician specific to each patient’s needs. The VAT is repeated during the therapy program to provide objective documentation for outcomes.

The VAT is also patient-friendly: children, adults, and the geriatric population can all easily perform the test without discomfort.

How is the VAT test performed?

The patient wears a head strap with a sensor to monitor head motion, while electrodes monitor eye movements. There are two basic instructions for the patient: Look at a target and move your head to the tone side to side and then up and down.

Which patients will benefit from the VAT?

There are a variety of patient groups, which fill an emerging market niche.

  • Vestibular or Dizzy Patients
    • Vertigo, dizziness, BPPV – according to the Vestibular Disorders Association, vertigo will affect 76 million Americans sometime during their lifetime.
    • Over 8 million physician consults per year focus on vestibular problems.
    • 85% of dizziness complaints are caused by inner ear disturbances, easily diagnosed by VAT.
  • Functional Decline of the Elderly
    • 1/3 to 1/2 of all people 65 or older fall each year. Over 50% of individuals who experience falls have vestibular abnormalities.
    • The number of elderly falls suggests the presence of pathology rather than normal aging.
    • Functional problems in the elderly cause a downward spiral from normal mobility to impairment and dependence. Visual and vestibular performance improves after rehabilitation of elderly persons who are prone to falls.
  • Injured Workers
    • Identifies patients who are exaggerating symptoms.
    • Isolates sensory from motor abnormalities.
    • Establishes a test/re-test reliability.
    • Helps identify adaptive abnormalities.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders
    • Stroke
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Parkinson’s
    • Learning Disorders
    • Panic Disorders
    • Viral Vestibulopathy
    • Neuritis
    • Ototoxicity
    • Acoustic Neuroma
    • Head Trauma
    • Cerebellar Degeneration
    • Insidious I