A battery of vestibular and audiological tests was administered to eight
patients with panic disorder and 13 patients with agoraphobia and panic
attacks, all of whom experienced dizziness during their panic attacks.
Positional or spontaneous nystagmus was present in 67% of the subjects.
Abnormal responses were found in caloric testing (56%), rotational testing
(35%), and posturography (32%). Pure tone audiograms were abnormal in 26%
of the subjects and acoustic reflexes were abnormal in 44% of the subjects.
Six of eight patients tested had an abnormal brainstem auditory evoked
potential. The possible importance of the findings and their implications
for further research are discussed.