Recurrence of BPPV after successful treatment

Timothy C. Hain, MD •Page last modified: March 7, 2021

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Recurrent BPPV is very common. The table below lists recurrence rates in a large number of studies. Most of these studies are vague about the time frame, but we have omitted studies that explicitly said more than 2 years.

Recurrence of BPPV within 1-2 years
Percent recurred n Type of BPPV Reference
23 51 PC Benyon et al, 2000
43 116 PC Helminski et al ,2005
21 145 All Tanimoto et al, 2008
26 100 All Dorigueto et al, 2009
27 69 All Perez et al, 2012
14 412 PC Soto-Varela et al (2012)
15.5 400 PC Babac et al, 2014
29.2 475 ALL Picicioti et al, 2016 (comment: duration of followup not given)

The average percentage BPPV recurrence, combining all studies listed above, was 22.35%. Not trivial.

The general thought is that BPPV, as well as it's recurrence, is mainly a function of "wear and tear", or in other words, age. According to AlGarni et al (2018), "when the recurrent BPPV groups were compared with the non-recurrent BPPV groups, the statistical analysis showed significantly lower level of vitamin D among the recurrence BPPV groups (SMD = - 4.47; 95% CI - 7.55 to - 1.29)." This does not appear to be a major effect, but rather appears to be a small risk factor. In other words, getting old is a far bigger risk factor than low vit-D.