BACKGROUND : This study compared vestibulocollic reflex and vestibulo-ocular reflex functioning in subjects with and without human immunodeficiency virus. It also described test results throughout progression of the disease and compared the results of human immunodeficiency virus positive subjects who were receiving antiretroviral therapies with those not receiving this treatment.
METHODS : Subjects comprised 53 adults with human immunodeficiency virus (mean age 38.5 ± 4.4 years) and 38 without human immunodeficiency virus (mean age 36.9 ± 8.2 years). Clinical examinations included cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential and bithermal caloric testing.
RESULTS : Abnormal cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential and caloric results were significantly higher in the human immunodeficiency virus positive group (p = 0.001), with an odds ratio of 10.2. Vestibulocollic reflex and vestibulo-ocular reflex involvement increased with progression of the disease. There were more abnormal test results in subjects receiving antiretroviral therapies (66.7 per cent) than in those not receiving antiretroviral therapies (63.6 per cent), but this difference was insignificant.
CONCLUSION : Human immunodeficiency virus seems to influence vestibulocollic reflex pathways. Combining cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential and caloric testing may be useful to detect early neurological involvement in human immunodeficiency virus positive subjects.