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Diagnosis and Treatment of Anterior-Canal Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Systematic Review.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In contrast to the posterior- and horizontal-canal variants, data on the frequency and therapeutic management of anterior-canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (AC-BPPV) are sparse. To synthesize the existing body of evidence into a systematic review regarding the incidence and treatment of AC-BPPV.

METHODS: Systematic search of medical databases employing predefined criteria, using the term "anterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo."

RESULTS: The electronic search retrieved 178 unique citations, 31 of which were considered eligible for further analysis. Analysis of the collected data revealed an estimated occurrence of AC-BPPV among benign paroxysmal positional vertigo patients of 3% (range 1-17.1%). No controlled therapeutic trials could be identified, and so the analysis was focused on uncontrolled case series. Treatment was categorized into three groups: Epley maneuver, Yacovino maneuver, and specific, nonstandard maneuvers described in individual articles. All three categories demonstrated success rates of over 75%, and the overall sample-size-weighted mean was 85.6%.

CONCLUSIONS: The present analysis demonstrated that AC-BPPV comprises about 3% of all BPPV cases. It can be treated safely using the Epley, Yacovino, and other maneuvers with rates of symptom resolution lying in the range of that reported for the other, more frequent canal variants. Multicenter controlled trials are needed in order to develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of AC-BPPV.

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