Vertigo in Childhood: Evaluation of Clinical and Laboratory Findings

Erdogan E., Nur B. G. , Dundar N. O.

TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.32, no.6, pp.1601-1606, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Objective: Childhood vertigo is a relatively uncommon complaint and has a wide spectrum of differential diagnosis. The aim of this study was to review the age, sex, etiologic factors, accompanying symptoms and laboratory findings in patients with vertigo and to discuss the findings in the light of the literature. Material and Methods: Patient records of 30 children (17 boys and 13 girls), aged 4-18 years (mean agetSD; 11.5 +/- 4.1 years), who presented with vertigo attacks between January 2010 and January 2011 in Pediatric Neurology clinic were examined retrospectively. Age, sex, duration of complaints, additional symptoms, medical history, chronic diseases, family history (migraine, epilepsy), hearing loss, syncope, tinnitus, headache, head trauma, drugs, laboratory tests findings (complete blood count, glucose, electrolytes, liver function tests, cholesterol, iron, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, vitamin B12 level and thyroid function tests), electroencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging findings were recorded. Descriptive statistical methods used to evaluate the data were calculated using SPSS version 19.0. Results: Sinusitis (23.3%), migraine (20%), and benign paroxysmal vertigo (16.6%) were the most common causes of vertigo of our patients. Ortostatic hypotension, otitis media, iron-deficiency anemia, and vitamin B12 deficiency in rank order were the other common causes of vertigo in childhood. The most common symptoms associated with vertigo were headache (43%), blurred vision (40%) and loss of balance (26%) in rank order. Conclusion: Vertigo is a rare primary complaint of children. Evaluation of childhood vertigo should include a detailed history and physical examination, laboratory testing and cranial imaging if necessary; and a multidisciplinary approach is required. A correct diagnosis, however, makes successful therapy possible, prevents unnecessary investigations and alleviates the worries of parents.