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Etiology of vertigo in children

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Balatsouras Dimitrios,

MD,PhD.ORL

balats@panafonet.gr

nt J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 Mar;71(3):487-94. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Etiology of vertigo in children.

Balatsouras DG, Kaberos A, Assimakopoulos D, Katotomichelakis M, Economou NC, Korres SG.

ENT Department of Tzanion General Hospital, 11 Zani and Afentouli Street, GR-18536 Piraeus, and Ioannina University School of Medicine, Greece.

 

OBJECTIVE: To detect the most common causes of vertigo in children.

METHODS: Fifty-four children (20 boys and 34 girls) aged 3-16 years, who presented with vertigo attacks during a 3-year period, were studied. A detailed medical history  for vestibular symptoms and migraine was obtained from our patients or their parents. All patients underwent otolaryngologic, ophthalmologic and neurologic clinical evaluation.

A detailed laboratory examination, including serologic tests for viral infections, was also obtained. Additionally, a complete audiological and neurotologic evaluation was performed. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained in selected cases.

RESULTS: Viral infections, benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood and migraine were the most common causes of vertigo accounting for approximately 65% of our patients. Otitis media, head trauma, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere's disease and brain tumor were less common causes of vertigo.

CONCLUSIONS: A peripheral type of vertigo was found in most cases. Diagnostic approach in vertigo in children should include a detailed history and clinical examination in conjunction with a test battery of audiological and neurotologic tests. When a central cause of vertigo is suspected an MRI or CT scan should be ordered.


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