Elderly falls associated with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. Jan-Feb 2010;76(1):113-20.


Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) can cause falls, especially in the elderly.

Aim: to study whether or not elderly patients with BPPV have a reduction on their falls after the particle repositioning maneuver (PRM).

Materials and methods: retrospective study including elderly with BPPV who had fall(s) during the last year. All patients were submitted to the PRM according to the affected semicircular canal (SCC). After the abolition of positioning vertigo and nystagmus, the patients were submitted to a 12 month follow-up and were investigated about the number of fall(s). Wilcoxon's test was performed to compare the number of fall(s) before and after 12 months of the PRM.

Results: One hundred and twenty one patients were included in the study. One hundred and one patients presented involvement of the posterior SCC, 16 of the lateral and four of the anterior. We noticed a reduction on the number of falls, with statistically significant difference when all the patients were analyzed together (p<0.001), the posterior canal BPPV patients (p<0,001) and the lateral canal VPPB patients (p=0.002). We also found a tendency of statistically significant difference for the anterior canal BPPV patients (p=0.063).

Conclusion: BPPV elderly patients had indeed a reduction on the number of falls after the PRM.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Posture
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotation
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology*
  • Vertigo / complications*
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / therapy