Since radiotherapy is the treatment of choice for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the influence of irradiation on the temporal bone is of great concern for these patients. In this study, the caloric test and posturography were used to investigate vestibular function in 41 irradiated patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Caloric testing showed a high incidence of canal paresis; five unilateral and 10 bilateral. Factors such as middle ear effusion had no significant effect on the occurrence of canal paresis. Posturography showed no difference from the control group. The authors conclude that the influence of irradiation on the vestibular apparatus of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma might result in a canal paresis while postural control is preserved. Central compensation may play an important role in the postural control of these patients.
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