The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Diagnostic Delay in Pediatric Vestibular Disorders


Department of Otology and Neurotology, Vertigo and Ear Clinic, Jaipur, India


Department of Engineering, NeuroEquilibrium, Jaipur, India


Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ear and Vertigo Clinic, Jaipur, India

J Int Adv Otol 2023; 19: 318-322
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2023.231052
Read: 651 Downloads: 367 Published: 01 August 2023

BACKGROUND: Vertigo and dizziness in children can be multi-factorial. Vestibular function tests allow an improved differential diagnosis and treatment. Delay in diagnosis of the diverse etiologies causing dizziness can adversely affect the health of children and is a matter of concern for their families. This study analyzes the delay in diagnosis and the importance of establishing a diagnosis with detailed history and neuro-otological evaluation.

METHODS: A total of 241 children presenting with vertigo to a tertiary otoneurology clinic between January 2019 and April 2022 were analyzed for the duration between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis, presenting complaints, and characteristic findings.

RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-one patients with a mean age of 12.5 ± 3.02 years (range, 5-16 years) were evaluated. About 39.4% of patients were diagnosed after over a year (with some over 5 years) of suffering from vertigo and only 18.7% of patients were diagnosed correctly within 1 month of symptom onset. The presenting features were variable with 174 (72.2%) complaining of spinning, unsteadiness, and falls seen in 36+10+37 (34.4%). Vestibular migraine was the most common diagnosis (63.39%), followed by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (24.48%), of which the posterior canal was most affected (50.85%) followed by horizontal (40.68%) and anterior canal (8.47%). Other etiologies noted were central (14.10%) and peripheral vestibulopathy (17.42%) and variable other causes (6.19%).

CONCLUSION: Many pediatric vertigo and dizziness patients do not reach the correct diagnosis for long durations and are treated as “unspecified dizziness.” A detailed examination with a multidisciplinary approach including vestibular evaluation is advocated to give definitive treatment to these children.

Cite this article as: Bhandari A, Bhandari R, Kumbhat P. Diagnostic delay in pediatric vestibular disorders. J Int Adv Otol. 2023;19(4):318-322.

EISSN 2148-3817