Treatment of horizontal semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

J Vestib Res. 1997 Jan-Feb;7(1):1-6.


We evaluated a new therapeutic maneuver-Prolonged Position on the healthy side, for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) of the horizontal semicircular canal. We devised this type of physical treatment in accordance with the "canalolithiasis" theory of BPPV, in order to try to free the horizontal semicircular canal of otoconial debris. We compared the results obtained by Prolonged Position with two other physical therapies by dividing our horizontal canal BPPV patients into three therapeutic groups: 1) 35 patients treated with Prolonged Position; 2) 24 patients treated with head shaking in a supine position; 3) 15 patients for whom therapy was omitted. More than 90% of the patients treated with Prolonged Position recovered within 3 days, although 6 patients out of 35 subsequently developed BPPV of the posterior semicircular canal, which then responded well to a particular repositioning maneuver. The results of Prolonged Position were significantly better than those obtained by performing head shaking or by omitting treatment. Prolonged Position can be applied to patients of all ages and general conditions and does not require hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Calculi / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Posture*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology*
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertigo / etiology
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / therapy*