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West J Emerg Med. 2009 Nov;10(4):273-7.

The clinical differentiation of cerebellar infarction from common vertigo syndromes.

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1
University of California at San Diego, Department of Emergency Medicine.

Abstract

This article summarizes the emergency department approach to diagnosing cerebellar infarction in the patient presenting with vertigo. Vertigo is defined and identification of a vertigo syndrome is discussed. The differentiation of common vertigo syndromes such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere's disease, migrainous vertigo, and vestibular neuritis is summarized. Confirmation of a peripheral vertigo syndrome substantially lowers the likelihood of cerebellar infarction, as do indicators of a peripheral disorder such as an abnormal head impulse test. Approximately 10% of patients with cerebellar infarction present with vertigo and no localizing neurologic deficits. The majority of these may have other signs of central vertigo, specifically direction-changing nystagmus and severe ataxia.

PMID:
20046249
PMCID:
PMC2791733

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