Aetiology of Vertigo as Seen at the Federal Medical Center Lokoja, North Central Nigeria


Background: Human beings are able to maintain their balance from a combination of proprioceptive, graviceptive, visual and the vestibular inputs integrated by the central nervous system. Hence, symptoms of imbalance can arise whenever there is a defect either in these peripheral sensors or the modulating central nervous system. The prevalence of vertigo is 20-30% and it is a major health issue all over the world.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and causes of vertigo in Federal Medical Center Lokoja, North Central Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This is a 3-year retrospective hospital based study undertaken in the ENT Unit of the Department of Surgery Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. From the hospital Medical Records, patients' files were retrieved. Data about their age, sex, occupation, presentation, treatment modality and outcome were extracted, studied and analyzed.

Results: Three thousand two hundred and fourteen patients were seen and 65 of them had vertigo with a prevalence of 2.0%. Fifteen files had incomplete information and were not include in the study. The remaining 50 patients' files that were reviewed, consisted of 32 males (64%) and 18 females (36%). Male to female ratio was 1.8:1 and a mean age of 24.8 years. Bengin Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) 22(44%) was the commonest aetiology found followed by Meniere's disease 8(16%), trauma 7(14%) and Vestibular Neuronitis 5(10%) respectively.

Keywords: Aetiology, vertigo, BPPV, Meniere's disease. 

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