Peripheral Vestibular Disorders in Children and Adolescents with Concussion

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Abstract

Objective

To review peripheral vestibular disorders in pediatric patients with dizziness following concussion.

Study Design

Case series with chart review.

Setting

Pediatric vestibular clinic and pediatric multidisciplinary concussion clinic at a tertiary level pediatric hospital.

Subjects and Methods

We retrospectively reviewed 109 patients seen for dizziness following a concussion between September 2012 and July 2015. Patients were ≤20 years of age at the time of concussion. Incidences of specific peripheral vestibular disorders were assessed along with timing of diagnosis relative to the date of injury, diagnostic test findings, and treatment interventions associated with those diagnoses.

Results

Twenty-eight patients (25.7%) were diagnosed with peripheral vestibular disorders. None of these disorders were diagnosed prior to evaluation in our pediatric vestibular clinic or our multidisciplinary concussion clinic, which occurred a mean of 133 days (95% confidence interval, 89.2-177.3) after injury. Benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo was diagnosed in 19 patients, all of whom underwent successful canalith repositioning maneuvers. Other diagnoses included temporal bone fracture (n = 3), labyrinthine concussion (n = 2), perilymphatic fistula (n = 2), and superior semicircular canal dehiscence (n = 2). Both patients with perilymphatic fistula and 1 patient with superior semicircular canal dehiscence underwent successful surgical management, while 1 patient with superior semicircular canal dehiscence was managed nonsurgically.

Conclusion

Peripheral vestibular disorders may occur in pediatric patients with dizziness following concussion, but these disorders may not be recognized until symptoms have persisted for several weeks. An algorithm is proposed to guide the diagnosis and management of peripheral vestibular disorders in pediatric patients with concussion.

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