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March 14, 1994

Panic Disorder in Patients With Dizziness

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(5):590-591. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420050162017

Sullivan et al1 in their study on 75 patients with dizziness who were referred to a community otolaryngologic practice found a higher prevalence of life-time psychiatric disorders, especially lifetime major depression and lifetime panic disorder in the group without evidence of a peripheral vestibular disorder. The authors conclude that specific psychiatric disorders should be part of the differential diagnosis in patients with dizziness.

A recent study2 in which we evaluated 76 consecutive inpatients and outpatients who were referred to a neurologic clinic with complaints of dizziness supports their major findings. Our patients were assessed for psychiatric disorders with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III (SCID) and underwent extensive otologic as well as neurologic evaluation, including electronystagmography with caloric response, blink-reflexes, masseter reflexes, and auditory evoked potentials. Electroencephalography, vascular studies, and neuroimaging were performed if necessary.

Only a minority of our sample (39%) was without any current or lifetime

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