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Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jan 15;73(2):244-51.

Initial evaluation of vertigo.

Author information

1
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90015, USA. rlabuguen@aol.com

Erratum in

  • Am Fam Physician. 2006 May 15;73(10):1704.

Abstract

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, acute vestibular neuronitis, and Meniere's disease cause most cases of vertigo; however, family physicians must consider other causes including cerebrovascular disease, migraine, psychological disease, perilymphatic fistulas, multiple sclerosis, and intracranial neoplasms. Once it is determined that a patient has vertigo, the next task is to determine whether the patient has a peripheral or central cause of vertigo. Knowing the typical clinical presentations of the various causes of vertigo aids in making this distinction. The history (i.e., timing and duration of symptoms, provoking factors, associated signs and symptoms) and physical examination (especially of the head and neck and neurologic systems, as well as special tests such as the Dix-Hallpike maneuver) provide important clues to the diagnosis. Associated neurologic signs and symptoms, such as nystagmus that does not lessen when the patient focuses, point to central (and often more serious) causes of vertigo, which require further work-up with selected laboratory and radiologic studies such as magnetic resonance imaging.

PMID:
16445269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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