Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) has received renewed clinical interest. At the Johns Hopkins Otological Vestibular Laboratory, 781 patients were tested on more than one occasion between September 1976 and November 1992. Of these patients, 187 (24%) were found to have positional nystagmus consistent with a diagnosis of BPPV. A retrospective analysis of these patients' records, including vestibular test and eye movement reports, audiograms, questionnaires, and hospital charts was performed. After this review, the nystagmus, initially diagnosed as due to BPPV, was believed to be a manifestation of another disease process in 36 cases. Of the remaining 151 cases, 52 (34%) presented with no significant preceding disorder and have been termed primary BPPV. In the remaining 99 patients we found coexisting or associated disorders which included Meniere's disease, head trauma, prior ear surgery, vestibular neuronitis, migraine, and others. Forty-five of these 151 patients (31%) had an associated diagnosis of Meniere's disease. To our knowledge a significant association between Meniere's disease and BPPV has not been reported. A review of the literature with discussion of BPPV and the associated disorders is offered.