Benign positional vertigo after cochlear implantation

C. J. Limb, H. F. Francis, L. R. Lustig, J. K. Niparko, H. Jammal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To identify patients who underwent cochlear implantation (CI) and who subsequently developed benign positional vertigo (BPV) after the procedure and to identify any contributing factors. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Academic tertiary referral center. Cochlear implant recipients' medical records were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients with both vertigo and, more specifically, BPV. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors were studied vis-à-vis the development of BPV. RESULTS: BPV was newly diagnosed in 12 patients after CI. The etiology of hearing loss included presbycusis (16.6%), autoimmune inner ear disease (16.6%), congenital hearing loss (41.6%), Meniere's disease (8.3%), prematurity (8.3%), and idiopathic factors (8.3%). The onset of BPV varied after the procedure (mean ± SD, 292 ± 309 days). BPV symptoms did not affect implant performance. All patients were treated for BPV by Epley's maneuver and vestibular exercises. Symptoms disappeared in 11 patients and persisted in 1. CONCLUSIONS: BPV is an uncommon development after CI, although it occurs more frequently than in the general population. Two theories are proposed: the introduction of bone dust into the labyrinth and the dislodging of otoconia during surgery. The diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of BPV after CI do not differ from those for non-CI-associated BPV. SIGNIFICANCE: Dizziness after CI usually develops as a result of vestibular hypofunction. BPV, which is a hyperfunctioning form of vestibular dysfunction, should be recognized as a possible sequelae of CI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-745
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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