Misdiagnosing Dizzy Patients: Common Pitfalls in Clinical Practice

Kevin A. Kerber, David E. Newman-Toker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article highlights 5 pitfalls in the diagnosis of common vestibular disorders: (1) overreliance on dizziness symptom type to drive diagnostic inquiry; (2) underuse and misuse of timing and triggers to categorize patients; (3) underuse, misuse, and misconceptions linked to hallmark eye examination findings; (4) overweighting age, vascular risk factors, and neuroexamination to screen for stroke; and (5) overuse and overreliance on head computed tomography to rule out neurologic causes. This article discusses the evidence base describing each pitfall's frequency and likely causes, and potential alternative strategies that might be used to improve diagnostic accuracy or mitigate harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-575
Number of pages11
JournalNeurologic clinics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Dizziness
  • Management
  • Vertigo
  • Vestibular disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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