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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Oct;274(10):3567-3576. doi: 10.1007/s00405-017-4674-9. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Analysis of risk factors influencing the outcome of the Epley maneuver.

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Hospital Infanta Luisa, Calle San Jacinto 87, 41010, Seville, Spain.
Hospital Universitari Joan XXIII, Tarragona, Spain.
Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar, Cádiz, Spain.
Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain.
Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil, Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain.
Hospital Infanta Luisa, Calle San Jacinto 87, 41010, Seville, Spain.


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most frequent type of vertigo. The treatment of canalithiasis of the posterior semicircular canal consists in performing a particle-repositioning maneuver, such as the Epley maneuver (EM). However, the EM is not effective in all cases. The objective of this study is to identify risk factors, which predict the EM failure, among the clinical variables recorded in anamnesis and patient examination. This is an observational prospective multicentric study. All patients presenting with BPPV were recruited and applied the EM and appointed for a follow-up visit 7 days later. The following variables were recorded: sex, age, arterial hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, migraine, osteoporosis, diseases of the inner ear, previous ipsilateral BPPV, previous traumatic brain injury, previous sudden head deceleration, time of evolution, sulpiride or betahistine treatment, experienced symptoms, outcome of the Halmagyi maneuver, laterality, cephalic hyperextension of the neck, intensity of nystagmus, intensity of vertigo, duration of nystagmus, occurrence of orthotropic nystagmus, symptoms immediately after the EM, postural restrictions, and symptoms 7 days after the EM. Significant differences in the rate of loss of nystagmus were found for six variables: hyperlipidemia, previous ipsilateral BPPV, intensity of nystagmus, duration of nystagmus, post-maneuver sweating, and subjective status. The most useful significant variables in the clinical practice to predict the success of the EM are previous BPPV and intensity of nystagmus. In the other significant variables, no physiopathological hypothesis can be formulated or differences between groups are too small.


Age; Alcohol-related disorders; BPPV; Betahistine; Cervical extension; Diabetes mellitus; Epley maneuver; Head impulse test; Hyperlipidemia; Hypertension; Labyrinth diseases; Lateralization; Migraine disorders; Nystagmus; Orthotropic nystagmus; Osteoporosis; Prognosis; Sex; Signs and symptoms; Smoking; Sulpiride; Time-to-treatment; Traumatic brain injury; Whiplash injuries

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