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J Yeungnam Med Sci > Volume 31(1); 2014 > Article
Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2014;31(1):1-8.
DOI:    Published online June 30, 2014.
Differential diagnosis of peripheral vertigo.
Chang Hoon Bae
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
Dizziness can be classified mainly into 4 types: vertigo, disequilibrium, presyncope, and lightheadedness. Among these types, vertigo is a sensation of movement or motion due to various causes. The main causes of peripheral vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), acute vestibular neuritis (AVN), and Meniere's disease. BPPV is one of the most common causes of peripheral vertigo. It is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense vertigo, which are triggered by specific changes in the position of the head. BPPV is diagnosed from the characteristic symptoms and by observing the nystagmus such as in the Dix-Hallpike test. BPPV is treated with several canalith repositioning procedures. AVN is the second most common cause of peripheral vertigo. Its key symptom is the acute onset of sustained rotatory vertigo without hearing loss. It is treated with symptomatic therapy with antihistamines, anticholinergic agents, antidopaminergic agents, and gamma-aminobutyric acid-enhancing agents that are used for symptoms of acute vertigo. Meniere's disease is characterized by episodic vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, and tinnitus. It is traditionally relieved with life-style modification, a low-salt diet, and prescription of diuretics. However, diagnosis and treatment of the peripheral vertigo can be difficult without knowledge of BPPV, AVN, and Meniere's disease. This article provides information on the differential diagnosis of peripheral vertigo in BPPV, AVN, and Meniere's disease.
Key Words: Dizziness, Vertigo, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Acute vestibular neuritis, Meniere's disease


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