Canal switch and re-entry phenomenon in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: difference between immediate and delayed occurrence

Claudio Costantino, Alessandro De Stefano, Dispenza, Rando, Stagno, Giglione, Ettore Bennici, Francesco Dispenza

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10 Citations (Scopus)


This prospective study was designed to evaluate the differences between immediate and delayed canal re-entry of otoliths after therapeutic manoeuvres in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). A total of 196 patients with BPPV were visited and 127 matched our inclusion criteria. The mean age was 54.74 years. The horizontal semicircular canal (HSC) was involved in 30 cases and the posterior semicircular canal (PSC) in 97 patients. Patients with hearing loss in the ear affected by BPPV have a more recurrent form, compared to those with normal hearing. An immediate canal re-entry was recorded in 3 patients with HSC BPPV, all with geotropic nystagmus. In 7 patients with PSC BPPV, the immediate canal re-entry was detected and the delayed form was noted in 5 patients. The patients with the delayed canal re-entry underwent more than 2 previous manoeuvres. The canal re-entry was not related to the manoeuvre performed. The timing of the Dix-Hallpike test to verify the resolution of the BPPV had a significant role in immediate canal re-entry. A recurrence in the follow-up at least one month after treatment was recorded in 20 patients and was more frequent in patients that had canal re-entry. The canal re-entry or canal switch is a clinical entity that should be kept in mind of the neurotologist when approaching BPPV patients. It is important to distinguish it from recurrence when delayed and from manoeuvre failure when immediate. The timing of manoeuvre performing, in particular the final verification test after therapeutic sessions, is important to prevent the immediate reflux of particles into canals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalActa Otorhinolaryngologica Italica
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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