[Equilibrium disorders and their diagnosis in childhood]

G Aust
Laryngo- Rhino- Otologie 1991, 70 (10): 532-7
Vertigo in children is rarer than in adults and the examiner in cases showing these symptoms must rely on the parents' or relatives' observations and details. Besides the equilibrium disorders caused by hereditary malabsorption or lesions in the peripheral or central vestibular structures, e.g. ototoxic drugs, tumours in the brain, meningitis, encephalitis, otitis, labyrinthine fistulas or head trauma, we only known of typical diseases, associated with vertigo, that develop during childhood. These are: so-called benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, benign paroxysmal torticollis, basilar migraine, spasmus nutans, visual-cliff phenomenon, and kinetosis. Careful examinations are necessary to differentiate these illnesses from vestibular epilepsy, brain tumours, and hereditary episodic vertigo. Neuro-otologic examination in children, especially small children, is a kind of "stepchild" in ENT departments. The reasons are the time-consuming examination necessary in the case of children and by problems connected with a plethora of troublesome individual tests. Additional difficulties arise in cases of sensory, mental, and other impairments. - The paper gives an overview of vestibular disturbances during childhood and diagnostic procedures for determination by means of Frenzel glasses, electronystagmography, cranio-corpography, and posturography.

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