OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ability of head-shaking nystagmus (HSNy), evoked after the resolution of a vertigo spell, to predict an imminent crisis in the early stage of Meniere’s disease (MD). MATERIALS and METHODS: A total of 20 patients in the early stage of MD were included in the study. The head-shaking test (HST) was performed twice, during the first visit within 24 h of vertigo spell (T0) and 48 h later (T1). The onset of a new vertigo episode during the 2 weeks following the first visit was recorded in each patient’s medical record. The sensitivity and specificity of HSNy toward predicting a new vertigo episode were calculated. RESULTS: At T0, an evoked ipsilesional HSNy in 15 (75%) patients was observed; in four of them, the HSNy had a biphasic component. The HSNy was present and persistent at T1 in 8 (42.1%) patients; among these cases, 6 patients had ipsilesional HSNy, and 2 patients a contralesional HSNy. None of the patients presented with a biphasic HSNy at T1. Seven (36.8%) patients experienced the recurrence of a vertigo crisis. Among these, 6 patients had ipsilesional HSNy at T1. Only 8 patients with ipsilesional HSNy at T0 did not have recurrence. The sensitivity of the ipsilesional HSNy in predicting the recurrence of vertigo in patients with MD was 100% at T0 and 85.7% at T1. The specificity was 46.6% and 100% at T0 and T1, respectively. CONCLUSION: The HST can be a useful test in the early stages of MD to predict a new vertigo attack.
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