Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 0004-282X
CIRIACO, Jovana G.M. et al. Phobic postural vertigo: clinical aspects and course of illness. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2004, vol.62, n.3a, pp. 669-673. ISSN 0004-282X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2004000400019.
Phobic postural vertigo (PPV) is the second most common diagnosis on a dizziness unit. It is a somatoform syndrome characterized as a chronic and incapacitating condition with subjective imbalance and short attacks of dizziness. During a period of 18 months, PPV was observed in 41 patients among 251 of a dizziness unit. Twenty-six had primary PPV, among whom 65% had depressive or anxiety disorders, and 15 patients were diagnosed at secondary PPV. Normal neurological examination and diagnostic tests were observed in most cases. A favorable response to treatment (antidepressants, benzodiazepines, psychotherapy and/or orientation) was observed in 62% of all patients, without difference between both groups - primary and secondary PPV. Despite the high prevalence, PPV is misdiagnosed. Therefore one must attempt to recognize it, since its appropriate treatment prevents recurrence and incapacitation.
Keywords : phobic postural vertigo; diagnosis; treatment.