How is the head-thrust test performed in a dizziness evaluation?

Updated: Jun 26, 2018
  • Author: Wayne T Shaia, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Head-thrust test

  • The patient is asked to gaze steadily at a target in the room. The examiner briskly moves the patient's head from one side to the other while observing eye position.

  • A normal result is obtained when the patient's eyes remain fixed on the target. When the eyes make a compensatory movement after the head is stopped to reacquire the target (a refixation saccade), the test results are abnormal. This test can indicate if the output of one or both labyrinths is depressed.

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