Treatment of apogeotropic benign positional vertigo: comparison of therapeutic head-shaking and modified Semont maneuver

S-Y Oh, Ji-Soo Kim, S-H Jeong, Y-M Oh, K-D Choi, B-K Kim, S-H Lee, H-S Lee, I-S Moon, J-J Lee
Journal of Neurology 2009, 256 (8): 1330-6
Several methods of physiotherapy have been advanced for apogeotropic type benign positional vertigo involving the horizontal semicircular canal (HC-BPV). The aim of this study was to determine the therapeutic efficacies of the proposed maneuvers in apogeotropic HC-BPV. Using a prospective randomized trial involving seven nationwide dizziness clinics in Korea, we compared the immediate efficacies of head-shaking and modified Semont maneuvers in 103 consecutive patients with apogeotropic HC-BPV. We also determined an additional therapeutic benefit of mastoid oscillation while the patients without response to both maneuvers were performing the Brandt-Daroff exercise. Successful treatment was defined as resolution of positional vertigo and nystagmus, or as transition into geotropic HC-BPV. Results showed that head shaking was more effective than the modified Semont maneuver (37.3 vs. 17.3%, P = 0.02). However, therapeutic efficacy did not differ between the maneuvers after the initial non-responders switched over to the other maneuver (23.3 vs. 25.0%, P = 0.861). Mastoid oscillation provided no additional benefit while the patients without response to both maneuvers were performing the Brandt-Daroff exercise. Most positional vertigos resolved within a week (89.4%) irrespective of the treatment modalities applied and all showed resolution within 28 days. The head-shaking maneuver described here proved more effective than the modified Semont maneuver in treating apogeotropic HC-BPV. Mastoid vibration conferred no additional benefit during the Brandt-Daroff exercise.

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