A multicenter randomized double-blind study: comparison of the Epley, Semont, and sham maneuvers for the treatment of posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Jong Dae Lee, Dae Bo Shim, Hong Ju Park, Chan Il Song, Min-Beom Kim, Chang-Hee Kim, Jae Yong Byun, Sung Kwang Hong, Tae Su Kim, Kye Hoon Park, Jae-Hyun Seo, Byoung Soo Shim, Joon Han Lee, Hyun Woo Lim, Eun-Ju Jeon
Audiology & Neuro-otology 2014, 19 (5): 336-41
We evaluated the short-term efficacy of Epley, Semont, and sham maneuvers for resolving posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) in a prospective multicenter randomized double-blind controlled study. Subjects were randomly divided into three groups: Epley (36 patients), Semont (32 patients), and sham (Epley maneuver for the unaffected side, 31 patients). Out of 14 institutes which participated in this study, 5 institutes had previous experience of the Epley but not the Semont maneuver and the other 9 had previous experience of both maneuvers. Each maneuver was repeated twice if there was still positional vertigo or nystagmus on day 0, and the presence of nystagmus and vertigo on positional testing were evaluated immediately, 1 day, and 1 week after treatment. After the first maneuver, the Epley group showed a significantly higher resolution rate of positional nystagmus than the Semont or sham groups (63.9, 37.5, and 38.7%, respectively). After the second maneuver, the resolution rate (83.3%) of the Epley group was significantly higher than that (51.6%) of the sham group. At 1 day and 1 week after treatment, the resolution rate of the Epley group was significantly higher than those of the other groups. Similar results were seen for the resolution of positional vertigo. The Epley maneuver showed persistent resolution rates of positional vertigo and nystagmus without a fatigue phenomenon. The Epley maneuver was significantly more effective per maneuver than Semont or sham maneuvers for the short-term treatment of posterior canal BPPV. The Semont maneuver showed a higher success rate than the sham maneuver, but it was not significantly different.

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