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Acta Otolaryngol. 2013 Jun;133(6):594-9. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2012.763180.

Pseudo-anterior canalolithiasis.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.



Because nystagmus induced by ampullopetal inhibition of the posterior semicircular canal (PSCC) rotates around the axis perpendicular to the plane of the anterior semicircular canal (ASCC) of the other side, when free-floating debris is initially located at the distal portion of the PSCC, a patient showing positional nystagmus appears to have the ASCC type of benign paroxysmal positional nystagmus. We name this 'pseudo-anterior canalolithiasis'.


We report on pseudo-anterior canalolithiasis originating in the PSCC and discuss the differential findings between pseudo-anterior and true anterior canalolithiasis by means of three-dimensional (3D) analysis of the positional nystagmus.


We performed 3D analysis of the positional nystagmus in a patient with true anterior canalolithiasis and in another patient with pseudo-anterior canalolithiasis.


In the patient with true anterior canalolithiasis, the direction of positional nystagmus during reverse Epley maneuver was constant and its axis was perpendicular to the plane of the right ASCC three-dimensionally. In contrast, in the patient with pseudo-anterior canalolithiasis, the first positional nystagmus of which the axis was perpendicular to the plane of the left ASCC became a second positional nystagmus of which the axis was perpendicular to the plane of the right PSCC during the reverse Epley maneuver.

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