A Standard Calibration Cavity for Caloric Test Irrigation Stimuli

Technology #2010-168

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David A. Zapala Ph.D.
Managed By
Susan B. Mikell
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending

The caloric test is commonly used as an assessment of vestibular function. The test entails delivering air or water into the external ear canal at varying temperatures, thereby stimulating vestibular labyrinthine responses. Historically, water has been the preferred stimulus for the caloric test. However, pumping air into the external canal is more convenient and is increasingly popular in clinical settings. However, there is a problem. The temperature of air at the tip of the air pump does not reflect the temperature change produced in the deeper portions of the ear canal. The aim of the current invention is to create a standardized calibration cavity (approximating the dimensions of the external ear canal) that can be used to estimate the temperature change at the eardrum as a result of air or water caloric irrigation. The calibration cavity would likely become an international standard for calibrating caloric stimuli and would facilitate the reliable equilibration of air and water stimuli.