Vascular vertigo and dizziness: Diagnostic criteria

J Vestib Res. 2022;32(3):205-222. doi: 10.3233/VES-210169.


This paper presents diagnostic criteria for vascular vertigo and dizziness as formulated by the Committee for the Classification of Vestibular Disorders of the Bárány Society. The classification includes vertigo/dizziness due to stroke or transient ischemic attack as well as isolated labyrinthine infarction/hemorrhage, and vertebral artery compression syndrome. Vertigo and dizziness are among the most common symptoms of posterior circulation strokes. Vascular vertigo/dizziness may be acute and prolonged (≥24 hours) or transient (minutes to < 24 hours). Vascular vertigo/dizziness should be considered in patients who present with acute vestibular symptoms and additional central neurological symptoms and signs, including central HINTS signs (normal head-impulse test, direction-changing gaze-evoked nystagmus, or pronounced skew deviation), particularly in the presence of vascular risk factors. Isolated labyrinthine infarction does not have a confirmatory test, but should be considered in individuals at increased risk of stroke and can be presumed in cases of acute unilateral vestibular loss if accompanied or followed within 30 days by an ischemic stroke in the anterior inferior cerebellar artery territory. For diagnosis of vertebral artery compression syndrome, typical symptoms and signs in combination with imaging or sonographic documentation of vascular compromise are required.

Keywords: Vertigo; brainstem; cerebellum; dizziness; imbalance; infarction; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Dizziness / complications
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lateral Medullary Syndrome* / complications
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic* / diagnosis
  • Stroke* / diagnosis
  • Vertigo / etiology

Supplementary concepts

  • PICA syndrome