[Skip to Navigation]
August 1995

The Spectrum of Vertigo in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock (Dr Bower); and Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Cotton).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(8):911-915. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890080077015

Objective:  To review the presentation, evaluation, and causes of vertigo in children.

Design:  A retrospective review of children who presented with the chief complaint of vertigo.

Patients:  Thirty-four children with a chief complaint of vertigo were seen in an ear, nose, and throat clinic during a 2½-year period.

Outcome Measures:  Presenting symptoms, diagnostic tests, diagnoses established, and clinical course were evaluated.

Results:  Otitis media, benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, and migraine accounted for the vertigo in 50% of the children. Audiometry, tympanometry, and electronystagmography were the most helpful diagnostic tests, with abnormal results in seven, seven, and six patients, respectively. Of the 19 patients with adequate follow-up, 15 (79%) were improved or asymptomatic at the time of their last visit.

Conclusions:  Peripheral causes of vertigo, eg, otitis media, were noted most commonly. Evaluation of vertigo should include a complete history and physical examination, an audiogram, and a tympanogram. In select cases, electronystagmography, electroencephalography, and scanning of the brain or temporal bone should be performed. A favorable outcome was noted in most cases.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:911-915)

Add or change institution