A Screeningtest for the Utricle Function
The identification of the subjective haptic vertical is rather effortless. The patients draws a vertical line while sitting upright and in defined inclined position (20°) with closed eyes (eye patch) on a leveled drawing board (water level on the board).
The patient should be seated on a padded examination couch for the examination. The 20° inclined position is approximately attained when the patients leans to one side so that his elbow almost touches the couch. However, he shall not lean on the couch. The head shall be kept in the axis of the upper part of the body. Now the patient draws a line with his free hand, uninterrupted from top to bottom of the horizontally positioned board, which he perceives as vertical (with his eyes closed / covered). The line should start in the respective notch of the sheet clamp (right inclination, center, left inclination). The examiner ought to help the patient to find the starting position.
The test can be interpreted immediately by placing the analysis foil on top of the drawing. If the center line (upright sitting position) shows an angle greater than 5° or if the difference between the lines in left and right inclined sitting positions is beyond 5°, the patient shows a mismatch between real and perceived inclination. This indicates a disorder of the utricle.