Continuing Medical Education

An approach to acute vertigo

K Bateman, C Rogers, E Meyer

Abstract


There can be few physicians so dedicated to their art that they do not experience a slight decline in spirits when they learn that their
patient’s complaint is giddiness. This frequently means that after exhaustive enquiry it will still not be entirely clear what it is that the patient
feels wrong and even less so why he feels it. (W B Mathews)
Contrary to this prevalent view, in recent years advances in the diagnosis and management of common vestibular disorders have made
the clinical evaluation of the dizzy patient more rewarding. An accurate diagnosis may be possible in the majority of patients presenting
with acute vertigo when a directed history is taken and an examination is performed. Specific and effective treatments are available for
many patients. This article describes the clinical evaluation of a patient with acute vertigo, and highlights selected common and important
conditions.


Authors' affiliations

K Bateman, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

C Rogers, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders (Audiology), Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

E Meyer, Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Acute vertigo

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(8):694. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.8097

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-09-23
Date published: 2015-09-23

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