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Int J Otolaryngol. 2011;2011:483965. doi: 10.1155/2011/483965. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Diagnosis of Single- or Multiple-Canal Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo according to the Type of Nystagmus.

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  • 1ENT Department, Tzanio General Hospital of Piraeus, Afentouli 1 and Zanni, 18536 Piraeus, Greece.


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common peripheral vestibular disorder encountered in primary care and specialist otolaryngology and neurology clinics. It is associated with a characteristic paroxysmal positional nystagmus, which can be elicited with specific diagnostic positional maneuvers, such as the Dix-Hallpike test and the supine roll test. Current clinical research focused on diagnosing and treating various types of BPPV, according to the semicircular canal involved and according to the implicated pathogenetic mechanism. Cases of multiple-canal BPPV have been specifically investigated because until recently these were resistant to treatment with standard canalith repositioning procedures. Probably, the most significant factor in diagnosis of the type of BPPV is observation of the provoked nystagmus, during the diagnostic positional maneuvers. We describe in detail the various types of nystagmus, according to the canals involved, which are the keypoint to accurate diagnosis.

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