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May 1967

The Symptom of Vertigo

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(5):515-516. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040517007

VERTIGO is defined as a sense of rotation, either of the patient revolving in space, or the world revolving around the patient. Vertigo is the result of a pathologic lesion of the labyrinth or central vestibular pathways, and vertigo can be induced by stimulating the vestibular labyrinth by hot or cold caloric irrigation of the ear, by rotation or by electrical current. Vertigo, the sense of rotation, must not be confused with cerebral ischemia dizziness which the patient may describe as a swimming sensation, or a faint feeling, or a sensation of "blacking out." Cerebral ischemia dizziness can be induced in many normal individuals by bending over and suddenly straightening up. It is more frequent in cardiovascular disorders that impair the circulation of blood to the cerebral cortex; it occurs with a hyperactive carotid sinus reflex and in anemia.

Since patients are often vague and unclear in describing their symptoms,