Incidence of rotational vertigo in supratentorial stroke: a prospective analysis of 112 consecutive patients

E Anagnostou, K Spengos, S Vassilopoulou, G P Paraskevas, V Zis, D Vassilopoulos
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2010 March 15, 290 (1): 33-6

BACKGROUND: Single cases with hemispheric, cortical or subcortical, ischemic lesions presenting with rotational vertigo (RV), that challenge the notion of infratentorial or peripheral generation of RV have been published, but the incidence of this symptom in a larger series is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether acute hemispheric cerebrovascular lesions cause vertiginous sensations with particular emphasis on RV.

METHODS: A total of 112 consecutive stroke patients were assessed in a prospective single-center study over a 22-month inclusion period. Rotational or other vertiginous sensations were assessed using a structured 5-item questionnaire and patients with vertigo were further evaluated with Yardley's Vertigo Symptom Scale. All subjects underwent standard clinical neuro-ophthalmological and neuro-otological testing and data were correlated to imaging findings.

RESULTS: RV was absent among our patients. Few subjects reported non-rotational vertiginous sensations with stroke onset. These were mainly right-hemispheric strokes with concomitant subcortical leukoaraiosis.

CONCLUSION: In this case series we did not find any patients with spinning sensations which is supportive of the dogma that supratenotrial lesions do not cause RV. Certain hemispheric stroke patterns, however, may be related to non-rotational dizziness.

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