Ischemic syndromes causing dizziness and vertigo

K. D. Choi, H. Lee, J. S. Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dizziness/vertigo and imbalance are the most common symptoms of vertebrobasilar ischemia. Even though dizziness/vertigo usually accompanies other neurologic symptoms and signs in cerebrovascular disorders, a diagnosis of isolated vascular vertigo is increasing markedly by virtue of recent developments in clinical neurotology and neuroimaging. It is important to differentiate isolated vertigo of a vascular cause from more benign disorders involving the inner ear, since therapeutic strategies and prognosis differ between these two conditions. Over the last decade, we have achieved a marked development in the understanding and diagnosis of vascular dizziness/vertigo. Introduction of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has greatly enhanced detection of infarctions in patients with vascular dizziness/vertigo, especially in the posterior-circulation territories. However, well-organized bedside neurotologic evaluation is even more sensitive than MRI in detecting acute infarction as a cause of spontaneous prolonged vertigo. Furthermore, detailed evaluation of strategic infarctions has elucidated the function of various vestibular structures of the brainstem and cerebellum. In contrast, diagnosis of isolated labyrinthine infarction still remains a challenge. This diagnostic difficulty also applies to isolated transient dizziness/vertigo of vascular origin. Regarding the common nonlacunar mechanisms in the acute vestibular syndrome from small infarctions, individual strategies may be indicated to prevent recurrences of stroke in patients with vascular vertigo.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • brainstem
  • cerebellum
  • dizziness
  • imbalance
  • infarction
  • vertigo


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