Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a labyrinthine disorder with a typical behavior: intense crises of rotational vertigo induced by postural changes of the head, with short duration and usually good responsiveness to rehabilitative maneuvers. This phenomenon is thought to be subsequent to the movement of floating particles in the labyrinthine fluids, which can provoke gravitational stimulations. In order to conduct a metabolic and autoimmune examination, 70 patients affected by BPPV were examined. In 34 cases (48.5%) autoimmune alterations were found: in 19 cases (27.1%) the level of anti-thyroid antibodies far exceeded the normal values with a significant incidence in comparison with a control group (P<0.01). No other 'risk factors' were present. It can be hypothesized that the diffusion of immune-complexes in the inner ear could change the composition of the endolymphatic fluid exerting a mechanical stimulation of the receptors and provoking the typical vertigo.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.