The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Lateral Modified Brandt-Daroff Exercises: A Novel Home Treatment Technique for Horizontal Canal BPPV


Christiana Care Health Systems, Newark, DE, USA


Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA


Department of Otolaryngology, Thomas Jefferson University, PA, USA


Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

J Int Adv Otol 2021; 17: 52-57
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2020.9452
Read: 1181 Downloads: 399 Published: 01 January 2021

OBJECTIVES: Brandt-Daroff exercises (BDEs) are commonly used as an at-home treatment for posterior canalithiasis, but their efficacy in the treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) of the horizontal canal (HC-BPPV) has not been previously studied. Using biomechanical model simulation, we investigated modifications that may optimize BDE use for HC-BPPV treatment.

MATERIALS and METHODS: The BPPV Viewer, a three-dimensional model of the human labyrinth, was used to analyze BDE for HC-BPPV treatment. While moving the model through sequential BDE positions, the expected position of otoliths was demonstrated. Treatment steps were adjusted to maximize otolith movement around the canal circumference without compromising otolith repositioning into the semicircular duct’s anterior arm. All adjustments were integrated into lateral modified BDEs (LMBDEs) presented here.

RESULTS: By implementing several modifications, BDE can effectively treat HC-BPPV. Model simulation indicates tilting the head 20° upward in the lateral position, instead of 45° specified by the original technique, which significantly increases displacement of otoliths originating from the horizontal duct’s anterior and intermediate segments. LMBDE can be performed as a direct two-step sequence without pausing in the upright position before switching sides. If the affected ear is known, positioning the head 45° below horizontal on the unaffected side as a third treatment step can promote actual canal evacuation. These treatment enhancements increase circumferential otolith movement around the canal and may promote horizontal canal evacuation.

CONCLUSION: LMBDEs are a modification of BDE that may increase their effectiveness for use in patients with HC-BPPV. This safe treatment adjunct between office visits may promote long-term symptom reduction.

Cite this article as: Teixido M, Casserly R, Melley LE. Lateral Modified Brandt-Daroff Exercises: A Novel Home Treatment Technique for Horizontal Canal BPPV. J Int Adv Otol 2021; 17(1): 52-7.

EISSN 2148-3817