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Abstract of the Week

March Topic of the Month: CSM Recap

No 510: March 11, 2020

Scocco DH, García IE, Barreiro MA. Sitting Up Vertigo. Proposed Variant of Posterior Canal Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Otol Neurotol. 2019 Apr;40(4):497-503. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000002157.
To describe a variant of posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Retrospective case review.
Tertiary referral center.
Fifteen patients with symptoms of BPPV and oculomotor evidence of activation of posterior semicircular canal (P-SCC) cupula that arises when sitting up from Dix-Hallpike maneuver (DH).
All patients were examined with videonystagmography and underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
All patients showed up-beating nystagmus with ipsilateral torsional component when coming up from right or left side DH. Most patients described vertiginous symptoms when sitting up from bed and many described severe non-positional disequilibrium. Eight patients had been treated with Epley canalith repositioning maneuver (CRM) at our clinic for posterior canal BPPV. Four of them were re-tested within an hour for CRM effectiveness and the rest, a week later. Three patients had been diagnosed with BPPV and were being treated with CRM in other institutions. Four patients showed these findings but they had not previously undergone CRM. All patients were treated with CRM without success, but they resolved their positional vertigo by means of Brandt Daroff exercises. No patient showed evidence of central vestibular disorder.
We propose a P-SCC canalolithiasis limited to the periampullar portion by means of an anatomical restriction of distal movement of the otoconial debris. This syndrome seems to be more frequent early after CRM of classical P-SCC canalolithiasis. Close attention to ocular movement on sitting up after DH on patients is warranted.
PMID: 30870365


No 509: March 6, 2020

Horizontal semicircular canal jam: Two new cases and possible mechanisms
Schubert MC, Helminski J, Zee DS, et al. Horizontal semicircular canal jam: Two new cases and possible mechanisms. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2020;5(1):163–167. Published 2020 Jan 16. doi:10.1002/lio2.352
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) of the horizontal semicircular canal (hSCC) can present with otoconia blocking its lumen (canalith jam), with signs and symptoms that make it difficult to distinguish from central nervous system pathology.
Here we report two cases of canalith jam affecting the hSCC and offer a theoretical mechanism based on known vestibular neurophysiology.
We use video-oculography to document the canalith jam and show the moment the otoconia loosen.
Canalith jam is a rare form of BPPV remedied with repositioning maneuvers.
Clinicians should consider canalith jam as a mechanism for BPPV when the nystagmus is (a) Direction fixed with fixation removed and during positional testing; (b) Velocity dependent on supine head position; (c) Converts to geotropic directional changing nystagmus.
PMID: 32128444


February Topic of the Month: Vestibular Migraine

No 508: February 26, 2020

Effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation in the Management of a Vestibular Migraine: A Review\
Alghadir AH, Anwer S. Effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation in the Management of a Vestibular Migraine: A Review. Front Neurol. 2018;9:440. Published 2018 Jun 12. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00440
Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) has been shown to be effective for many vestibular disorders. This review focuses on the current evidence on the effects of physical therapy in the management of vestibular symptoms in individuals with a vestibular migraine (VM). The individuals with a history of a migraine tend to have a high incidence of vestibular symptoms with some or all of their headaches. A total of six included studies investigated the effects of VR in the management of VM. The critical review form for quantitative studies was used to appraise quality assessment and risk of bias in the selected studies. Previous studies validated the use of VR in the treatment of vestibular symptoms for individuals with a VM to include improved headache and migraine-related disability in patients with a VM. From the current evidence, it is difficult to provide conclusive evidence regarding the efficacy of VR to minimize vestibular symptoms in patients with VM. Therefore, more randomized controlled studies are required to make firm evidence on the effect of VR in reducing vestibular symptoms in patients with VM. The future prospective, blinded, randomized controlled studies may help to isolate possible therapeutic effects of VR and other general effects.
PMID: 29946294


No 507: February 20, 2020

Clinical Features, Familial History, and Migraine Precursors in Patients With Definite Vestibular Migraine: The VM-Phenotypes Projects


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to assess through a questionnaire the features of vertiginous episodes, accompanying symptoms, familial history, and migraine precursors in a sample of 252 subjects with a diagnosis of definite vestibular migraine.
BACKGROUND: Migraine is a common neurological disorder characterized by episodic headaches with specific features. About two-thirds of cases run in families, and patients may refer symptoms occurring in infancy and childhood, defined as episodic syndromes that may be associated with migraine. Migraine is associated with episodic vertigo, called vestibular migraine, whose diagnosis mainly relies on clinical history showing a temporary association of symptoms.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional multicentric study, 252 subjects were recruited in different centers; a senior specialist through a structured questionnaire assessed features of vestibular symptoms and accompanying symptoms.
RESULTS: The age of onset of migraine was 23 years, while onset of vertigo was at 38 years. One hundred and eighty-four subjects reported internal vertigo (73%), while 63 subjects (25%) reported external vertigo. The duration of vertigo attacks was less than 5 minutes in 58 subjects (23%), between 6 and 60 minutes in 55 (21.8%), between 1 and 4 hours in 29 (11.5%), 5 and 24 hours in 44 (17.5%), up to 3 days in 14 (5.5%), and more than 3 days in seven (2.8%); 14 subjects (5.5%) referred attacks lasting from less than 5 minutes and up to 1 hour, nine (3.6%) referred attacks lasting from less than 5 minutes and up to 1 to 4 hours, six (2.4%) referred attacks lasting from less than 5 minutes and up to 5 to 24 hours, and five (2%) cases referred attacks lasting from less than 5 minutes and up to days. Among accompanying symptoms, patients referred the following usually occurring, in order of frequency: nausea (59.9%), photophobia (44.4%), phonophobia (38.9%), vomiting (17.8%), palpitations (11.5%), tinnitus (10.7%), fullness of the ear (8.7%), and hearing loss (4%). In total, 177 subjects referred a positive family history of migraine (70.2%), while 167 (66.3%) reported a positive family history of vertigo. In the sample, 69% of patients referred at least one of the pediatric precursors, in particular, 42.8% of subjects referred motion sickness. The age of onset of the first headache was lower in the subsample with a familial history of migraine than in the total sample. Among the pediatric precursors, benign paroxysmal vertigo - BPV, benign paroxysmal torticollis, and motion sickness were predictive of a lower age of onset of vertigo in adulthood; cyclic vomiting was predictive for vomiting during vertigo attacks in adults.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results may indicate that vestibular symptoms in pediatric patients may act as a predisposing factor to develop vestibular migraine at an earlier age in adulthood.
PMID: 29205326


No 506: February 12, 2020

Beh SC. Vestibular Migraine: How to Sort it Out and What to Do About it. J Neuroophthalmol. 2019 Jun;39(2):208-219. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000791.
BACKGROUND: Vestibular migraine (VM) is the most common neurologic cause of vertigo in adults and results in significant utilization of health care resources, but remains under-recognized and underdiagnosed.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Review of literature in PubMed using the following terms: vestibular migraine, migraine-associated vertigo, vertiginous migraine, benign recurrent vertigo, migraine-associated dizziness, migraine, migraine treatment, Meniere disease (MD), vertebrobasilar ischemia (VBI), posterior circulation stroke, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, and episodic-ataxia Type 2 (EA2).
RESULTS: VM can manifest with a variety of vestibular symptoms, including spontaneous vertigo, triggered vertigo, positional vertigo, and head-motion dizziness. Patients may report more than 1 vestibular symptom. Episodes of vertigo are often, but not always, accompanied by headache. Auditory symptoms are frequently associated with VM attacks and may mimic the manifestations of MD. Other migrainous features that accompany VM attacks include photophobia, phonophobia, osmophobia, and visual aura. Interictally, patients may suffer from persistent dizziness or isolated paroxysmal vestibular symptoms. Mood disorders (particularly anxiety) are often found in VM. Abnormal neuro-otologic findings are not uncommon in patients with VM. Differential diagnoses for VM include MD, VBI, EA2, and migraine with brainstem aura. For rescue treatment, triptans, vestibular suppressants, and/or antiemetic agents may be considered. Pharmacologic migraine preventives (antiepileptics, beta-blockers, and antidepressants) are often useful.
CONCLUSIONS: The keys to correctly diagnosing VM is identifying a relationship between vestibular symptoms and migrainous features and being aware of the heterogeneity of manifestations of this enigmatic, but treatable, condition. The principles of treatment of VM include rescue therapy, lifestyle modification, nonpharmacologic migraine preventives, pharmacologic migraine prophylaxis, and treatment of comorbidities.
PMID 31094996 


No 505: February 7, 2020

Migraine is a common neurological disorder characterized by episodic headaches with specific features, presenting familial aggregation. Migraine is associated with episodic vertigo, named Vestibular Migraine (VM) whose diagnosis mainly rely on clinical history showing a temporary association of symptoms. Some patient refers symptoms occurring in pediatric age, defined "episodic symptoms which may be associated with migraine." The aim of this cross sectional observational study was to assess migraine-related clinical features in VM subjects. For the purpose, 279 patients were recruited in different centers in Europe; data were collected by a senior neurologist or ENT specialist through a structured questionnaire. The age of onset of migraine was 21.8 ± 9. The duration of headaches was lower than 24 h in 79.1% of cases. Symptoms accompanying migrainous headaches were, in order of frequency, nausea (79.9%), phonophobia (54.5%), photophobia (53.8%), vomiting (29%), lightheadedness (21.1%). Visual or other auras were reported by 25.4% of subjects. A familial aggregation was referred by 67.4%, while migraine precursors were reported by 52.3% of subjects. Patients reporting nausea and vomiting during headaches more frequently experienced the same symptoms during vertigo. Comparing our results in VM subjects with previously published papers in migraine sufferers, our patients presented a lower duration of headaches and a higher rate of familial aggregation; moreover some common characters were observed in headache and vertigo attacks for accompanying symptoms like nausea and vomiting and clustering of attacks.
PMID: 29922214

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