The Eurasian Journal of Medicine
Original Article

Evaluation of Effects of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus on the Vestibular System by Using the Video Head Impulse Test


Departments of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Goztepe Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey


Infectious Diseases, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Goztepe Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Eurasian J Med 2022; 54: 138-144
DOI: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2022.20289
Read: 1295 Downloads: 577 Published: 01 June 2022

Objective: Some studies have suggested that the human immunodeficiency virus causes dizziness and other balance problems; however, the exact effects on the vestibular system in acute and chronic phases of the disease are not clear. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of the human immunodeficiency virus on semicircular canals using a video head impulse test.

Materials and Methods: Seventy-two cases were included in the study. Twenty-six of the cases had positive human immunodeficiency virus RNA (group A) and 22 had negative human immunodeficiency virus RNA with positive anti-human immunodeficiency virus (group B) laboratory results. Twenty-four of the cases were healthy individuals (group C). The vestibular system was evaluated with a video head impulse test in all cases.

Results: In the evaluation of overt/covert saccades, a statistically significant difference was detected for the left posterior semicircular canal between group B and the other 2 groups. However, this was considered an incidental finding and not a clinically significant result. There was no other significant difference in the catch- up saccades for other canals. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups for the vestibulo-ocular reflex gain.

Conclusion: Although the human immunodeficiency virus has been reported to be vestibulotoxic in previ- ous studies, we found that the video head impulse test findings were not affected in our patient groups. Because the video head impulse test is considered a high-frequency test of vestibulo-ocular reflex, it is pos- sible that vestibular effects of the human immunodeficiency virus can be confined to low frequencies. It is also possible that HIV affects the central structures while sparing the peripheral vestibular pathways.

Cite this article as: Karaca S, Kalcioglu MT, Sargin F, et al. Evaluation of effects of the human immunodeficiency virus on the vestibular system by using the video head impulse test. Eurasian J Med. 2022;54(2):138-144.

EISSN 1308-8742