Should Echocardiography Be Used To Screen Dizzy Patients?

Kinney, Evlin L.; Wright, Robert J.
October 1988
Angiology;Oct1988, Vol. 39 Issue 10, p902
Academic Journal
The value of echocardiography in the evaluation of dizziness was studied in 151 consecutive patients. Twenty-two patients, on further review, were found to have related complaints, seizures and syncope mainly, but not dizziness. Twenty-four patients had vertigo, 67 had nonvertiginous dizziness, and in 38 patients, there was insufficient information to categorize the dizziness as being vertigo or nonvertiginous dizziness. When the 22 nondizzy patients were compared with the 129 dizzy patients, the only statistically significant differences were that there were more blacks in the nondizzy group and that the aortic root dimension was, on average, 0.4 cm larger in the nondizzy group. These findings, although statistically significant, appeared to be clinically insignificant. There was, however, a high prevalence of valvular heart disease in both the nondizzy and two of the three dizzy subgroups. In most cases, the valvular abnormality had not been suspected clinically. But in no case was significant information added by echocardiography that helped in patient management. Thus, in the dizzy patient, echocardiography should be reserved for specific cardiac indications and not used as a routine screening test.


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