JOURNAL ARTICLE

Analysis of benign paroxysmal positional nystagmus in children

Naoki Saka, Takao Imai, Toru Seo, Shigeto Ohta, Kiyoko Fujimori, Chisako Masumura, Hidenori Inohara, Masafumi Sakagami
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2013, 77 (2): 233-6
23200871

INTRODUCTION: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common vestibular disorder. However, BPPV in children has been studied less extensively than in the adult population. This is because the observation of benign paroxysmal positional nystagmus (BPPN) in children is technically very difficult and BPPV is rare in children. In this study, we present the only two cases of BPPV in children in which we successfully recorded and analyzed the BPPN.

METHODS: One case was an 11-year-old boy and the other was a 3-year-old girl. We analyzed their BPPN three-dimensionally.

RESULTS: Apogeotropic positional nystagmus was observed in the first case. We analyzed it to verify the presence of cupulolithiasis in the horizontal semicircular canal (HSCC). Geotropic positional nystagmus was observed in the second case, and the analyzed data indicated the presence of canalolithiasis in HSCC. Over the last decade, we have examined 3341 patients complaining of vertigo or dizziness. Among them, there were 63 children with the same complaint, so that the proportion of cases of BPPV in children was only 3% (2/63).

DISCUSSION: Among patients complaining of vertigo or dizziness, children with BPPV are rare (3%). However, we have recorded their BPPN to confirm that BPPV does occur in children and that their characteristics of positional nystagmus are generally identical to those in adults. We emphasize that this is the first report of a child as young as 3 years old being diagnosed with BPPV.

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