Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
South Med J. 2000 Feb;93(2):160-7; quiz 168.

How common are various causes of dizziness? A critical review.

Author information

1
Regenstrief Institute for Health Care and Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202-2859, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although dizziness is a common symptom in both primary care and referral practices, the relative frequency of various causes has not been well delineated.

METHODS:

A MEDLINE search identified 12 articles containing original data on the etiology of dizziness in consecutive patients. Study sites included primary care offices (n = 2), emergency room (n = 4), and referral clinics (n = 6). Each study's strength of design was graded using nine quality criteria.

RESULTS:

Dizziness was attributed to a peripheral vestibulopathy in 44% of patients, a central vestibulopathy in 11%, psychiatric causes in 16%, other conditions in 26%, and an unknown cause in 13%. Certain serious causes were relatively uncommon, including cerebrovascular disease (6%), cardiac arrhythmia (1.5%), and brain tumor (<1%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dizziness is due to vestibular or psychiatric causes in more than 70% of cases. Since serious treatable causes appear uncommon, diagnostic testing can probably be reserved for a small subset of patients.

PMID:
10701780
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center