How common are various causes of dizziness? A critical review

Kurt Kroenke, Richard M. Hoffman, Douglas Einstadter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Although dizziness is a common symptom in both primary care and referral practices, the relative frequency of various causes has not been well delineated. Methods. A MEDLINE search identified 12 articles containing original data on the etiology of dizziness in consecutive patients. Study sites included primary care offices (n = 2), emergency room (n = 4), and referral clinics (n = 6). Each study's strength of design was graded using nine quality criteria. Results. Dizziness was attributed to a peripheral vestibulopathy in 44% of patients, a central vestibulopathy in 11%, psychiatric causes in 16%, other conditions in 26%, and an unknown cause in 13%. Certain serious causes were relatively uncommon, including cerebrovascular disease (6%), cardiac arrhythmia (1.5%), and brain tumor (<1%). Conclusions. Dizziness is due to vestibular or psychiatric causes in more than 70% of cases. Since serious treatable causes appear uncommon, diagnostic testing can probably be reserved for a small subset of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Volume93
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000

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Dizziness
Psychiatry
Primary Health Care
Referral and Consultation
Cerebrovascular Disorders
MEDLINE
Brain Neoplasms
Hospital Emergency Service
Cardiac Arrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

How common are various causes of dizziness? A critical review. / Kroenke, Kurt; Hoffman, Richard M.; Einstadter, Douglas.

In: Southern Medical Journal, Vol. 93, No. 2, 02.2000, p. 160-167.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kroenke, K, Hoffman, RM & Einstadter, D 2000, 'How common are various causes of dizziness? A critical review', Southern Medical Journal, vol. 93, no. 2, pp. 160-167.
Kroenke, Kurt ; Hoffman, Richard M. ; Einstadter, Douglas. / How common are various causes of dizziness? A critical review. In: Southern Medical Journal. 2000 ; Vol. 93, No. 2. pp. 160-167.
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