CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Annals of Otology and Neurotology 2019; 02(01): 21-26
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1693105
Original Article
Indian Society of Otology

Differential Diagnosis of Vertigo in Children

Anita Bhandari
1  Department of ENT, Vertigo and Ear Clinic, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Arpana Goswami
1  Department of ENT, Vertigo and Ear Clinic, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

received 23 April 2019

accepted 16 May 2019

Publication Date:
16 July 2019 (online)


Introduction Vertigo and balance disorders can affect all age groups. It is common to misdiagnose the cause of dizziness in children, which eventually results in the delay of treatment. The purpose of this study was to review the clinical characteristics and neurotological evaluation of vertigo in patients younger than 16 years and assist in making a differential diagnosis for children with vertigo and balance disorders. The differential diagnosis can help determine the correct management strategy to treat vertigo and imbalance in pediatric patients.

Methods Children and adolescents presenting with a chief complaint of vertigo or unsteadiness to Vertigo and Ear Clinic, Jaipur, were selected for this study on the basis of clinical history, physical examination, and neurotological evaluation.

Results A total of 90 patients with a mean age of 10.67 years were evaluated. The most common cause associated with vertigo or dizziness was found to be vestibular migraine seen in 38 participants of this study. This was followed by unilateral peripheral vestibulopathy in 15 patients, bilateral peripheral vestibulopathy in 11 patients, and central vestibulopathy in 6 patients. Vertigo was also seen to be associated with various other disorders.

Conclusion Vertigo in children must be recognized as a definite symptom, which should be taken seriously by the clinician and family. Pediatric vertigo can be due to many etiologies. History and evaluation are the only way to diagnose the etiology and site of lesion. This will prevent misdiagnosis and delay in the treatment, which can ultimately lead to deterioration of the quality of life.