Background/aims: To determine if patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) have a higher frequency of rhinosinusitis than people with normal vestibular function.
Methods: The subjects were 52 patients with BPPV and 46 normal people. Every subject had a sinus CT scan, a blood draw for IgE and a rhinologic examination by an otolaryngologist.
Results: The frequency of rhinosinusitis based on physician diagnosis was 49% and based on CT scan findings 59%. This difference approached significance (p = 0.08). The observed frequency of rhinosinusitis was higher than predicted by survey data about the southern US region. The data trended toward higher prevalence of rhinosinusitis (by physician diagnosis) in the BPPV patients versus controls (58 vs. 39%, p = 0.06).
Conclusion: BPPV patients have a higher frequency of sinus disease compared to people with normal vestibular systems, perhaps due to age differences, but physiologic factors may also be involved. The higher frequency of rhinosinusitis in this geographical area than reported rates based on survey data raises concerns about the usefulness of questionnaire data for estimating population prevalence.