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Differential diagnosis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • the following conditions may be associated with recurrent vertigo (1)
    • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo - vertigo is provoked by a change in position and lasts for seconds
    • Meniere's disease - vertigo occurs spontaneously, lasts for minutes to hours, and is accompanied by unilateral hearing loss and tinnitus
    • migraine - vertigo is highly variable in duration and usually precedes or is accompanied by headache
    • vertebrobasilar insufficiency - is associated with brain-stem symptoms such as diplopia, dysarthria, and facial numbness.
    • panic disorder

  • positional vertigo and nystagmus may be caused by:
    • cerebellar disease
    • brain stem disease

  • in central causes of positional vertigo and nystagmus several features are different:
    • the nystagmus continues indefinitely as long as the provoking position is maintained
    • the direction of the nystagmus may not be towards the lower ear


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