Magnetic resonance brain imaging in patients with visual vertigo

Lea Pollak*, Michael Osherov, Nadav Berkovitz, Inessa Beckerman, Rafael Stryjer, Sigal Tal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patients with visual vertigo (VV) report dizziness provoked by moving visual surroundings. It has been suggested that these subjects develop a compensation strategy for a vestibulo-proprioceptive deficit and rely excessively on visual input. We have postulated that patients with VV might have brain abnormalities that interfere with appropriate processing of visual stimulation and performed a brain MRI study to verify this hypothesis. Materials and Methods: Patients with VV of more than 3 months duration were included. They were asked to complete the Situational Characteristic Questionnaire (SCQ) that scores for the symptoms of VV. Dizzy patients without VV served as controls. A brain MRI was performed with a Siemens 1.5 Tesla scanner in patients and controls. Results: Twenty-four patients with VV were included. Their mean SCQ score was 1.45 ± 0.9 (normal 0.16 ± 0.28). In 50% of patients, abnormalities in MRI imaging were found. Thirty-three percent of 27 controls demonstrated an abnormal brain MRI. The two groups were similar in respect to the prevalence of a localized hemispheric or posterior fossa lesion (P = 0.13), but VV patients had more unspecific white matter brain changes than controls (P = 0.009). Patients and controls did not differ in age and gender distribution (P = 0.9) or the history of a neurotological event preceding their symptoms (P = 0.3). Conclusions: Our study suggests that multiple white matter lesions might contribute to occurrence of the phenomenon of VV. Future prospective large-scale studies by specific MR techniques are indicated to validate our preliminary findings and elucidate the pathological mechanism of VV.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00402
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Disability
  • MRI findings
  • Visual vertigo


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