Vertigo/dizziness in pediatric emergency department: Five years' experience

Umberto Raucci, Nicola Vanacore, Maria Chiara Paolino, Romina Silenzi, Rosanna Mariani, Antonella Urbano, Antonino Reale, Maria Pia Villa, Pasquale Parisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Vertigo/Dizziness in childhood is not a rare cause of visits to the emergency department (ED). We analyzed a selected group with vertigo/dizziness to identify signs and symptoms that may help to guide the diagnostic approach and management.

METHODS: A total of 616 children admitted for vertigo to the ED over a five-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Their medical history, clinical characteristics, laboratory and neuroimaging tests, final diagnoses and management were analyzed.

RESULTS: Migraine and syncope were the most frequent causes. Two patients were affected by life-threatening cardiac syncope, while structural life-threatening central nervous system diseases were found in 15 patients, none of whom presented with vertigo as an isolated clinical finding.

CONCLUSIONS: Most cases of vertigo/dizziness in childhood that consist mainly of migraine and syncope are of benign origin. The prompt identification of neurological or cardiological signs or symptoms associated with vertigo in children is mandatory to rule out life-threatening conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-8
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dizziness
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syncope
  • Vertigo
  • Journal Article


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