Electromyographic activity of sternocleidomastoid and masticatory muscles in patients with vestibular lesions

Gianluca M. Tartaglia, Stefania Barozzi, Federico Marin, Antonio Cesarani, Virgilio F. Ferrario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the electromyographic characteristics of masticatory and neck muscles in subjects with vestibular lesions. Surface electromyography of the masseter, temporalis and sternocleidomastoid muscles was performed in 19 patients with Meniere's disease, 12 patients with an acute peripheral vestibular lesion, and 19 control subjects matched for sex and age. During maximum voluntary clenching, patients with peripheral vestibular lesions had the highest co-contraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (analysis ofcovariance, p=0.02), the control subjects had the smallest values, and the patients with Meniere's disease had intermediate values. The control subjects had larger standardized muscle activities than the other patient groups (p=0.001). In conclusion, during maximum voluntary tooth clenching, patients with vestibular alterations have both more active neck muscles, and less active masticatory muscles than normal controls. Results underline the importance of a more inclusive craniocervical assessment of patients with vestibular lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Oral Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Masticatory muscles
  • Meniere's disease
  • Peripheral vestibular lesion
  • Sternocleidomastoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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