Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

N Engl J Med. 1999 Nov 18;341(21):1590-6. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199911183412107.


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a common disorder of the inner ear that should be suspected in all patients with a history of positionally provoked vertigo. The condition appears to be caused by free-floating debris in the posterior semicircular canal. The diagnosis is confirmed by eliciting characteristic symptoms and signs during the Dix-Hallpike test. Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is usually a self-limited disorder, treatment with a specific bedside maneuver is effective and can provide the patient immediate and long-lasting relief. Although many patients with positionally provoked vertigo have typical benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, physicians should be aware of nonbenign variants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Calculi / chemistry
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Posture
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Vertigo* / diagnosis
  • Vertigo* / etiology
  • Vertigo* / therapy


  • Calcium Carbonate