Vertigo: clinical assessment and diagnosis

Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2008 Jun;69(6):330-4. doi: 10.12968/hmed.2008.69.6.29622.


Dizziness is a common presenting complaint to emergency departments and medical admission units; the key is to differentiate between central and peripheral causes of vertigo. This review focuses on bedside assessment of vertigo and, by looking at patterns of symptoms and signs, provides guidance as to when to suspect a central cause.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Humans
  • Meniere Disease / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency / complications
  • Vertigo / diagnosis*
  • Vertigo / etiology
  • Vestibular Function Tests / methods
  • Vestibular Neuronitis / complications