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Brain Dev. 2006 Mar;28(2):80-4. Epub 2005 Sep 15.

Neuro-otological features of benign paroxysmal vertigo and benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo in children: a follow-up study.

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Audiology Unit, Department of Neuroscience and Behavioural Science, University of Naples 'Federico II', Italy.



Causes of benign episodic vertigo in paediatric age include benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood (BPV) and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).


The aim is to review the clinical, audiological and vestibular findings in a cohort of children with BPV and in a group of children with BPPV and to highlight the differences useful to formulating a differential diagnosis.


Eighteen children, aged 4-9 years, consecutively examined for paroxysmal attacks of dizziness and/or vertigo attacks between January 2002 and December 2002 entered our study. The clinical characteristics of vertigo, presence of triggering factors, family history of migraine, presence of motion sickness, migraine and other accompanying symptoms were considered. Neurological, ophthalmologic, vestibular and auditory functions were assessed.


Eight children suffered from BPPV and ten children from BPV. In the BPPV group, the vestibular examination was normal except for the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Liberatory maneuvers were immediately effective in all patients and all remained symptom-free during the follow-up. In the BPV group, the vestibular examination was positive in 3 patients but none had positive Dix-Hallpike maneuver. All patients with BPV have a positive family history of migraine and seven had a history of motion sickness. In all, migraine was present one year before the vertigo symptoms, with a frequency of at least two migraine episodes a month.


BPV differs from BPPV in terms of family history, clinical symptoms, otoneurological signs, therapy and clinical evolution. BPPV is characterized by specific otoneurological signs, and must be treated with liberatory maneuvers: neither medical therapy nor strict follow-up is needed.

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