OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of the Santiago treatment protocol for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal, to analyse recurrence and to establish prognostic factors.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Four hundred and twelve patients with unilateral benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal were treated with the Semont manoeuvre and, if symptoms did not resolve, successive application of three Epley manoeuvres plus Brandt-Daroff exercises.
RESULTS: Symptoms resolved in 404 patients (98.1 per cent); a single Semont manoeuvre was sufficient in 334 (81.2 per cent). Aetiology had no impact on resolution of symptoms or number of manoeuvres required. The estimated likelihood of recurrence was 14 per cent in the first year and 27 per cent after 10 years. The only factor indicating a worse prognosis was recurrence.
CONCLUSION: In unilateral benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of the posterior semicircular canal, the above treatment protocol cured 98 per cent of patients. More than half of recurrences occurred in the first year. None of the analysed factors increased the likelihood of recurrence.
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