[Analysis of misdiagnosed cases with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo]

Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2012 May 22;92(19):1346-8.
[Article in Chinese]


Objective: To analyze the misdiagnosed cases with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Methods: During October 2010 to January 2011, a total of 287 patients with dizziness visited the Dizziness Clinic at Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University. Forty-eight misdiagnosed cases with BPPV were collected and their clinical data were analyzed. All 48 cases were diagnosed by the Dix-Hallpike or Roll test maneuver.

Results: (1) CLINICAL FEATURES: there were 38 females and 10 males with an average age of 54 ± 12 years old (range: 31 - 87). Posterior semicircular canal was involved in 75.0% (36/48) whereas the horizontal semicircular and multiple canals in 20.8% (10/48) and 4.2% (2/48) respectively. All patients were treated successfully. And 41 cases (85.4%) were cured on the first visiting day. Recurrences of BPPV occurred in 6 cases during the follow-up. (2) The initial visiting departments consisted of the department of general internal medicine 43.8% (21/48), department of neurology 27.1% (13/48), department of osteology 18.7% (9/48), ear, nose & throat (ENT) department 2.1% (1/48) and other departments 8.3% (4/48). In addition, 68.7% (33/48) of them frequented the general out-patient clinics during their initial visits and the other 31.3% (15/48) used the emergency services. (3) The initial diagnoses included vertebrobasilar insufficiency/cerebral circulation insufficiency 27.1% (13/48), cervical spondylosis 27.1% (13/48), cerebral infarction 4.2% (2/48), Meniere's disease 2.1% (1/48) and others 10.4% (5/48); Besides, 29.1% (14/48) of them had no diagnosis. (4) The average clinic visits per patient were 3.4 times (164 visits/48 cases). (5) The most commonly performed tests included brain computed tomography (CT) (28 person-times), cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (19 person-times), brain MRI (18 person-times), cervical radiography (18 person-times) and cervical CT (8 person-times).

Conclusion: In these misdiagnosed cases of BPPV, most of them were middle-aged women. They were most likely to have their first consultations in the departments of general internal medicine and neurology. Therefore these two departments should pay more attention to applying the maneuver of Dix-Hallpike or Roll test so as to reduce the misdiagnosis of BPPV and the waste of healthcare resources.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Dizziness / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vertigo / diagnosis*