We report the clinical features in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), who met the following criteria; (1) a history of brief episodes of positional vertigo, and (2) a characteristic torsional paroxysmal positional nystagmus that was observed visually. The mean age of onset was 55 years. There was no sex predominance. In most patients, positional vertigo disappeared within 2 months. We then used the eccentric rotatory test to examine the patients otolithic function. In the eccentric rotatory test, a patient is rotated around an axis located behind his head (eccentric rotation, ECR). We have demonstrated that the enhancement of vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain in ECR can be used as an index of the utricular function. Enhancement of VOR gain was observed in ECR to the lower ear in positional vertigo, but not to the uppermost ear. The findings suggest an imbalance in utricular function in patients with BPPV. Otoconia dislodged from the deranged utricle may be a source of canalolithiasis/cupulolithiasis.
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