Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of recurrent vertigo and has a lifetime prevalence of 2.4% in the general population. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is caused when calcium carbonate material originating from the macula of the utricle falls into one of the semicircular canals. Due to their density relative to the endolymph, they move in response to gravity and trigger excitation of the ampullary nerve of the affected canal. This, in turn, produces a burst of vertigo associated with nystagmus unique to that canal. Recognition of this condition is important not only because it may avert expensive and often unnecessary testing, but also because treatment is rapid, easy, and effective in >90% of cases. Two well-established methods of treating BPPV are discussed and explained in this article along with a brief discussion of the most commonly used method for treatment of horizontal canal BPPV. Recurrence rates approach 50% in those followed for at least 5 years.
Medical Subject Headings
Seminars in Neurology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Fife, Terry D., "Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo" (2009). Neurology Articles. 80.