Objectives: We investigated arterial blood gas abnormalities in patients presenting with dizziness.
Patients and methods: The study included 58 patients (39 females, 19 males; mean age 46 years; range 22 to 74 years) who presented during attacks of dizziness. The duration of vertigo complaints ranged from one day to 30 years. Arterial gas measurements were performed at presentation and one month after treatment. The patients were examined in five groups according to the diagnoses: Meniere's disease (n=14), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (n=13), vertebrobasilar insufficiency (n=12), vestibular neuritis (n=4), and craniocervical myofascial syndromes (n=15).
Results: At presentation, pH was low (acidosis) in two patients (3.5%), and high (alkalosis) in 15 patients (25.9%). After treatment, all abnormal pH values returned to normal. Twenty-four patients had high or low HCO3- values. High HCO3- values persisted in three patients together with dizziness. Patients with vestibular neuritis had significantly higher PO2 values compared to those with craniocervical myofascial syndrome and vertebrobasilar insufficiency (p<0.05). However, one month after treatment, there were no significant differences between five groups with respect to PO2 levels (p>0.05). Consecutive blood gas measurements did not differ significantly within each diagnosis group (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that arterial blood gas abnormalities may be related to vertigo attacks.