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Diagnosis of acute vertigo in the emergency department
  1. Nicholas J Cutfield1,2,
  2. Barry M Seemungal1,
  3. Hugh Millington1,
  4. Adolfo M Bronstein1
  1. 1Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2University of Otago and Southern District Health Board, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Adolfo M Bronstein, Clinical Professor Head of Neuro-otology, 10 L15b Charing Cross Campus, London W6 8RF, UK; a.bronstein{at}

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Acute vertigo accounts for 12% of neurological presentations to emergency departments.1 Over 12 months, the neuro-otologists' diagnoses from 90 referrals seen in our emergency department were benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) 31, vestibular neuritis 14, history of vestibulopathy with no diagnosis (normal assessment) 14, vestibular migraine 12, anxiety/panic disorder 11, stroke 4, presyncope 4. BPPV was the most common diagnosis and this is important because BPPV is easily diagnosed and treated with simple manoeuvres (figure …

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  • Funding NC and AMB were funded by MRC and BMS by Academy of Medical Sciences, UK.

  • Competing interests AMB is an author in reference 2.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hammersmith Ethics Committee 07/Q0406/48.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.