Canalolithiasis of the superior semicircular canal: an anomaly in benign paroxysmal vertigo

Acta Otolaryngol. 2005 Oct;125(10):1055-62. doi: 10.1080/00016480510037023.


According to the canalolithiasis theory, benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV) is caused by gravity-dependent movements of otoconial debris that collects in the endolymph of the posterior semicircular canal. Other parts of the vestibular organ are rarely affected, and it is mainly the horizontal canal that is affected by this atypical form of BPPV. Canalolithiasis of the superior semicircular canal must be considered an anomaly because the superior semicircular canal is the highest point of the vestibular organ and debris normally cannot collect in this special location. Until now, BPPV of the superior canal has mainly been dealt with theoretically in the literature. The authors present three patients with canalolithiasis of the superior semicircular canal and offer direct proof of the condition using high-resolution 3D MRI.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endolymph
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Lithiasis / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Otolithic Membrane
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology*
  • Vertigo / pathology*