Virtual Conference
Neuroscience conference 2023


Delta Groupe Chirec & Clinique des vertiges CHU Saint Pierre, Belgium

Title: Diagnosis of dizziness in the emergency department: A 1-year prospective single-center study


BACKGROUND: The management of dizziness and vertigo can be challenging in the emergency department (ED). It is important to rapidly diagnose vertebrobasilar stroke (VBS), as therapeutic options such as thrombolysis and anticoagulation require prompt decisions.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the rate of misdiagnosis in patients with dizziness caused by VBS in the ED.
METHODS AND RESULTS: The cohort was comprised of 82 patients with a mean age 55years; 51% were women and 49% men. Among dizzy patients, 15% had VBS. We used Cohen’s kappa test to quantify the agreement between two raters – namely, emergency physicians and neurologists – regarding the causes of dizziness in the ED.  The agreement between emergency physicians and neurologists is low for the final diagnosis of central vertigo disorders and moderate for the final diagnosis of VBS. The sensitivity of ED clinal examination for benign conditions such as BPPV was low at 56%. The positive predictive value of the ED clinical examination for VBS was also low at 50%. 

CONCLUSION: There is a substantial rate of misdiagnosis in patients with dizziness caused by VBS in the ED. To reduce the number of missing diagnoses of VBS in the future, there is a need to train emergency physicians in neurovestibular examinations, including the HINTS examination for acute vestibular syndrome (AVS) and the Dix-Hallpike (DH) maneuver for episodic vestibular syndrome. Using video head impulse test could help reduce the rate of misdiagnosis of VBS in the ED. 


I graduated as neurologist from Université Libre de Bruxelles. Then had a training in vestibular disorders at Université de la Sorbonne Paris. I am also giving classes at Faculté de médecine de Rabat. I am also the first author of a study on vertigo in emergency department Nouini A et al. J Vestib Res. 2023 Mar 6. doi: 10.3233/VES-220109. I currently work at the Vertigo Clinic at CHU Saint Pierre and at Delta Chirec in Brussels.