Lying-down nystagmus and head-bending nystagmus in horizontal semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: are they useful for lateralization?

Jung-Hwan Oh, Sook-Keun Song, Jung Seok Lee, Jay Chol Choi, Sa-Yoon Kang, Ji-Hoon Kang
BMC Ophthalmology 2014, 14: 136

BACKGROUND: Lateralization of horizontal semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (HSC-BPPV) is very important for successful repositioning. The directions of lying-down nystagmus (LDN) and head-bending nystagmus (HBN) have been used as ancillary findings to identify the affected sites. This retrospective study was performed to evaluate the lateralizing values of LDN and HBN using clinical and laboratory findings for lateralizing probabilities in patients with HSC-BPPV.

METHODS: For 50 HSC-BPPV patients with asymmetric direction-changing horizontal nystagmus (DCHN) during the head-rolling test (HRT) using Frenzel goggles, the directions of LDN and HBN were evaluated and compared to those determined by video-oculography. Directional LDN was defined as the contralesional direction of nystagmus in geotropic types and the ipsilesional direction in apogeotropic types. Directional HBN was defined as the opposite direction relative to directional LDN. We also analyzed LDN and HBN in 14 patients with a history of ipsilesional peripheral vestibulopathy, caloric abnormality or conversion from other types of BPPV (such as probable localized HSC-BPPV, pro-BPPV).

RESULTS: LDN and HBN were seen in 68% (34/50) and 76% (38/50) of patients, respectively. Of these, 19 (55.9%), and 28 (73.7%) patients showed directional LDN and HBN, respectively. The proportion of patients with directional LDN and HBN was much smaller among the pro-BPPV patients (4/12 for LDN, 3/10 for HBN).

CONCLUSIONS: LDN and HBN did not seem to predict lateralization in patients with HSC-BPPV. To improve the prediction of lateralization of HSC-BPPV, it is necessary to modify the maneuvers used to elicit LDN or HBN, especially in cases of symmetric DCHN during HRT.

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