Vestibular testing in patients with panic disorder and chronic dizziness.Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2007 Oct; 27(5):243-7.AO
In order to investigate the relationship between chronic dizziness and vestibular function in patients with panic disorder, in the present study neurotologic findings in 15 patients with panic disorder and chronic dizziness were compared with those in 15 patients with chronic dizziness, without panic disorder. All underwent neurotologic screening for spontaneous, positional and positioning nystagmus with head-shaking and head-thrust tests, an audiometric examination and electronystagmography with bithermal stimulation according to Freyss. A significantly higher number of patients with panic disorder and chronic dizziness showed pathological neurotologic findings in comparison to subjects with chronic dizziness only (9 and 2 patients, respectively; p < 0.05). Most patients with panic disorder showed signs of peripheral vestibular disorders. These results suggest that the complaint of dizziness in patients with panic disorder may be linked to a malfunction of the vestibular system and vestibular disorders may play a role in the pathophysiology of panic disorder. Possible mechanisms underlying this finding are discussed. In patients with panic disorder and chronic dizziness between panic attacks, a careful neurotologic examination is warranted.