'Cardiogenic vertigo' - True vertigo as the presenting manifestation of primary cardiac disease

David E. Newman-Toker, Carlos A. Camargo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: A 90-year-old woman presented to a hospital emergency department with a brief loss of consciousness that was heralded by spinning vertigo lasting approximately 2 min. She had a long history of intermittent brief episodes of rotatory vertigo, presyncope, and non-vertiginous dizziness, occurring either with or without loss of consciousness. Although initially attributed to symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, these episodes persisted, despite surgical restoration of carotid artery blood flow 1 year after her first syncope. Her medical history was otherwise notable for hypertension, mild depression and a gradual decline in gait and balance function attributed to left hip arthritis and older age. Investigations: Bedside history and examination, non-contrast head CT scan, electrocardiogram, transthoracic echocardiogram, and bedside cardiac telemetry. Diagnosis: Sick sinus syndrome or severe reflex bradycardia with asystole causing recurrent, episodic vertigo, presyncope, non-vertiginous dizziness and syncope (Stokes-Adams attacks). Management: Placement of a temporary pacing wire, followed by surgical implantation of a single-chamber ventricular (VVI) pacemaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalNature Clinical Practice Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Arrhythmia
  • Diagnosis
  • Dizziness
  • Syncope
  • Vertigo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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