Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been reported to be a common cause of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). However, only a few studies have investigated BPPV after TBI. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical characteristics of BPPV after TBI and to determine whether there are clinical differences between BPPV after TBI and idiopathic BPPV.
Methods: The authors reviewed the medical records of 192 consecutive patients with positional vertigo after head injury during the period 2003 to 2009 and investigated 112 patients with idiopathic BPPV treated over the same period. The clinical characteristics of BPPV after TBI and the clinical differences between the traumatic BPPV and idiopathic BPPV groups were investigated.
Results: A total of 32 patients with BPPV after TBI fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Twenty-four patients in the traumatic BPPV group had posterior semicircular canal-BPPV and 11 patients lateral semicircular canal-BPPV. A total of 58 repositioning maneuver sessions were performed in these 32 patients. Members of the traumatic BPPV group required more treatment sessions than members of the idiopathic group (p<0.05), but no tendency to recur was observed in the traumatic group (p>0.05). Recurrence rates in the traumatic and idiopathic BPPV groups were 15.6% and 18.8%, respectively (p>0.05).
Conclusions: It is likely that BPPV after TBI is more difficult to treat than idiopathic BPPV, but no tendency to recur was observed in patients who developed BPPV after TBI compared with idiopathic BPPV. Further prospective clinical meta-analytic studies are needed to investigate the outcome of BPPV after TBI.