Management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) in the emergency department

Khalid Bashir, Furqan Irfan, Peter A. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common medical condition that can be managed by emergency physicians. Vertigo sufferers usually complain of the room spinning associated with certain head movements such as getting out of bed, looking up and bending down. BPPV can be diagnosed clinically from history and examination and does not require any investigations. BPPV can be effectively treated at the bedside by using one of the Canalith repositioning maneuvers (particle repositioning maneuvers). This treatment has been proven to be effective in randomised controlled trials and carries minimal risks. The common complications during the procedure include nausea, vomiting and vertigo. There are no absolute contraindications. BPPV can resolve spontaneously but symptoms may last for weeks in most patients, to years in others. Failure to respond to physical maneuvers and an unusual pattern of nystagmus may suggest a central pathology. Diagnostic strategies and physical manoeuvres are described in this narrative review. Future directions and recommendations also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine Trauma & Acute Care
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • BPPV
  • Dix-Hallpike
  • Dizziness
  • Epley
  • Nystagmus
  • Vertigo

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