A Retrospective Series of 77 Pediatric Patients with Vertigo at a National Center for Child Health and Development

Fumiyuki Goto, Noriomi Suzuki, Mariko Hara, Nana Tsuchihashi, Noriko Morimoto

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The evaluation and management of vertigo in children varies among institutional and medical specialties. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of vertigo in children presenting at a national pediatric center. Patients <16 years old presenting with vertigo to the department of otolaryngology at a national center for child health and development from April 2004 to October 2009 were included (N = 77; 42 males and 35 females; average age, 8.7 ± 3.4 years) in this study. The most common diagnoses were vestibular migraine (VM; N = 21), benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPV; N =16), unilateral vestibulopathy (N = 12), and psychogenic vertigo (N = 8). Significant differences were observed in the frequency of the diagnoses between children aged older and younger than 7 years: BPV was most common in children <7 years of age (p <0.01) and VM was most common in ≥ 27 years of age (p <0.05). Because obtaining adequate information from children for making a correct diagnosis is sometimes difficult, acquiring sufficient information from the parents is important. In addition, getting the parents to record the nystagmus during a vertigo attack with a digital camera or cellular phone can be useful because observing the nystagmus recorded on the video is helpful for making a diagnosis. Furthermore, the parents are participating in their child's care by attempting to record the attack, strengthening the relationship between the parents and the child. The incidence of psychogenic vertigo is low (less than 10%). Therefore, although physicians have recently tended to define the disorder as psychogenic when no objective abnormality is found in a patient, making a diagnosis of psychogenic vertigo is not recommended. Because vertigo can sometimes make a child anxious, delivering the correct diagnosis and treatment at the early stage is important for preventing anxiety in affected children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-866
Number of pages7
JournalNihon Jibiinkoka Gakkai kaiho
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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