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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2012, Article ID 413603, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Posterior Semicircular Canal Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Presenting with Torsional Downbeating Nystagmus: An Apogeotropic Variant

Service of Audiology, Department of Oto-Neuro-Ophthalmology, Surgical Sciences, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni 85, 50100 Florence, Italy

Received 11 June 2012; Accepted 23 July 2012

Academic Editor: B. J. Yates

Copyright © 2012 Paolo Vannucchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study is to verify the hypothesis that free-floating particles could sometimes localize into the distal portion of the non ampullary arm of the posterior semicircular canal (PSC) so that assuming the Dix-Hallpike’s positions, the clot could move towards the ampulla eliciting a inhibitory torsional-down beating paroxysmal positional nystagmus (PPNy), instead of typical excitatory torsional-up beating PPNy. Among 45 patients with vestibular signs suggesting anterior semicircular canal paroxysmal positional vertigo (PPV), collected from February 2003 to August 2006, we detected a group of 6 subjects whose clinical findings showed a singular behaviour during follow-up. At the first check-up, all patients were submitted to different types of physical manoeuvres for ASC canalolithiasis. Patients were controlled during the same session and after one week. When we found that nystagmus was qualitatively changed we adopted the appropriate physical therapies for that sign. At a next check-up, after having performed some physical therapies, all patients had a typical PSC PPNy of the opposite side, with respect to that of the ASC initially diagnosed. Basing on these observations we conclude that PSC PPV, similarly to lateral semicircular canal PPV, could manifests in a apogeotropic variant.