The meaning of the word "vertigo"

Brian W. Blakley, Joel Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether otologists see a need to further define the word "vertigo" and assess the variety of meanings that are meant in using the word. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to 720 members of the American Otological Society (AOS) and American Neurotological Society (ANS) to assess the need for further definition and the current understanding of the meaning of "vertigo." RESULTS: The response rate was 42%. Significant variability in the intended meaning of the word "vertigo" was found suggesting that the definition is inconsistent among experts. Three quarters of the respondents indicated that the word needs further definition. The word was most commonly used to indicate sensations that include spinning or turning only. CONCLUSION: The definition of the term "vertigo" is inconsistent among otolaryngologists. Refinement of the definition is desirable for accurate history taking and should be limited to false illusions of circular motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes


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