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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Vascular vertigo: epidemiology and clinical syndromes

Mehmet Karatas
Neurologist 2011, 17 (1): 1-10
21192184

BACKGROUND: vertigo is a common complaint in medicine. The most common causes of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis, Meniere's syndrome, and vascular disorders. Vertigo of vascular origin is usually limited to migraine, transient ischemic attacks, and ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Vascular causes lead to various central or peripheral vestibular syndromes with vertigo. This study provides an overview of epidemiology and clinical syndromes of vascular vertigo.

REVIEW SUMMARY: vertigo is an illusion of movement caused by asymmetrical involvement of the vestibular system by various causes. Migraine is the most frequent vascular disorder that causes vertigo in all age groups. Vertigo may occur in up to 25% of patients with migraine. The lifetime prevalence of migrainous vertigo is almost 1%. Cerebrovascular disorders are estimated to account for 3% to 7% of patients with vertigo. Vestibular paroxysmia has been diagnosed in 1.8% to 4% of cases in various dizziness units. Vasculitic disorders are rare in the general population, but vertigo may be seen in almost up to 50% of patients with different vasculitic syndromes.

CONCLUSIONS: migraine, cerebrovascular disorders especially involving the vertebrobasilar territory, cardiocirculatory diseases, neurovascular compression of the eighth nerve, and vasculitis are vascular causes of vertigo syndromes.

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