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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: is hypothyroidism a risk factor for recurrence?

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between risk of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) recurrence and hypothyroidism treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

METHODS: 797 patients with idiopathic BPPV were divided into two groups: 250 patients with recurrence of BPPV (R-BPPV) and 547 patients without recurrence (NR-BPPV). Regarding patients with thyroid disease on HRT, we collected serum test results of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine f-T3, free thyroxine f-T4, thyroglobulin antibodies (TG-Ab) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Ab).

RESULTS: Hypothyroidism in long-term HRT was found in 61/250 (24.4%) patients of the R-BPPV group vs 79/547 (14.4%) of the NR-BPPV-group (p = 0.0006). Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) was associated with recurrence (p < 0.0001). A significant correlation was found between recurrence and level of serum TPO-Ab (p = 0.0117) and TG-Ab (p = 0.0025), but not with mean serum TSH, f-T3 and f-T4.

CONCLUSIONS: We assume that patients with hypothyroidism in HRT have an increased risk of BPPV recurrence, which is particularly strong for patients with HT and positive thyroid antibodies, suggesting an association between autoimmunity and recurrent vertigo.

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