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Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp. 2005 Dec;56(10):469-71.

[Vestibular drop attacks or Tumarkin's otolithic crisis in patients with Meniere's disease].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de ORL, Hospital Sierrallana, Torrelavega, Cantabria.



Drop attacks (DA) are a sudden fall that comes without warning and without loss of consciousness, with no associated neurological symptoms and normal neurological examination. A certain number of patients with Meniere's disease, develop Tumarkin's otolithic crisis or DA. The purpose of this study is to document the frequency and clinical features of DA in patients with Meniere's disease.


A cohort of 40 patients with "definitive" Meniere's Disease were followed up between six months and 12 years. The presence and characteristics of Tumarkin's otolithic crisis were recorded.


Thirteen (32.5%) patients developed DA during the outcome of their Meniere's disease. The interval between the onset of typical symptoms of Meniere's disease and the DA ranged from less than one year to 18 years. The number of DA varied from 1 to 14. The attacks typically occurred in a flurry during a period of 1 year or less. Six patients had only one DA. No patient requiered treatment for the DA.


Tumarkin's otolithic crisis in Meniere's disease are not uncommon. They can occur at any time during the course of the disease, generally in a flurry of less than one year. Most patients have a spontaneus remission of the DA.

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