Mil Med. 2023 Oct 19:usad394. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usad394. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) is often part of a comprehensive evaluation to identify acute mild traumatic brain injury. Most of the reports describe the use of the VOMS in adolescents/young adults and not in older adults or military service members. The purpose of this study was to describe VOMS findings in healthy civilians and active duty military service members up to the age of 50 years.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-seven healthy civilians between 18 and 50 years of age (22 males, age 31.8 [9.0] years) participated across three sites in addition to 40 healthy active duty service members (25 males, age 27.5 [4.9] years) from one site. Demographics, Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory scores, mean near point convergence (NPC) distance, and Total Symptom Change (TSS) scores from the VOMS were evaluated.
RESULTS: For civilians, the group mean NPC distance was 4.98 (3.8) cm. For military service members, the group mean NPC distance was 6.17 (4.57) cm. For civilians, the mean TSS was 1.2 (2.3) with 53.2% reporting 0 TSS, 27.3% reporting one TSS, and 19.5% reporting two or more TSS. For military service members, the mean TSS was 0.20 (0.72) with 92.5% reporting 0 TSS, 0% reporting one TSS, and 7.5% reporting two or more TSS. Age did not correlate with the mean NPC distance and TSS in healthy civilians and active duty military service members.
CONCLUSIONS: Reconsideration of the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation, Version 2 cutoff value for abnormal mean NPC distance may be warranted to improve diagnostic accuracy in both civilian and military adult populations. Similarly, re-evaluating criteria for interpreting the TSS results of the VOMS, specifically in civilians, may be warranted.