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Harefuah. 2002 Nov;141(11):944-7, 1012, 1011.

[Traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: diagnosis and treatment].

[Article in Hebrew]

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Department of Neurology, Meir General Hospital, Kfar Saba.


Although head trauma is the cause of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) in about 15% of cases, the clinical features and response to treatment in this particular group of patients was not previously evaluated. We present 20 cases of traumatic BPPV: 12 cases identified from 150 consecutive BPPV patients diagnosed in our Dizziness Clinic; and 8 cases diagnosed from 75 consecutive head trauma patients seen in the Emergency Room. In all patients the clinical diagnosis was confirmed by the Dix-Hallpike maneuver and all were treated by the Epley procedure. Treatment results were compared to those of 40 consecutive patients with idiopathic BPPV. There was a wide spectrum and severity of head trauma including road accident (7), different falls (5), blow to the head (5) and miscellaneous (3). Two patients experienced brief loss of consciousness. Only two patients were diagnosed as BPPV before referral to our clinic. When presented to our Dizziness Clinic the patients were diagnosed as follows: unspecified dizziness (7), cervical vertigo (4) and transient ischemic attack (1). Five patients (25%) had bilateral BPPV. Eight patients (40%) had complete resolution of symptoms and signs following a single treatment while 12 patients (60%) required additional physical treatments until complete resolution of BPPV was achieved. During follow-up, 11 patients (55%) had recurrent attacks of BPPV. Thirty-four patients with idiopathic BPPV (85%) had a single successful treatment session while the others required repeated physical treatments until complete resolution of BPPV. We conclude that traumatic BPPV is probably under-recognized or misdiagnosed in clinical practice. Response to a single physical treatment seems to be less favorable than in idiopathic BPPV. The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is mandatory in all patients with dizziness and vertigo following head trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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