Benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo: a disease explainable by inner ear mechanics

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2006;68(6):329-33. doi: 10.1159/000095285. Epub 2006 Oct 26.


Many arguments give evidence that benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo, one of the most frequent kinds of vertigo, can be reduced to mechanical processes in the vestibular part of the labyrinth. Based on the assumption that otoliths have departed from their normally fixed position in the otolithic membrane and travel in the semicircular canals, clinical observations find their explanation. Latency between the onset of a head movement and the beginning of the vertiginous sensation, its duration and the nystagmic pattern provoked by specific head movements are in good correlation with the canalith hypothesis. Further arguments are the successful treatment by liberatory maneuvers, the relatively high number of recurrences and the change of the affected canal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ear, Inner / physiopathology*
  • Head Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Otolithic Membrane / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Vertigo / physiopathology*
  • Vertigo / rehabilitation
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology