Clinical Assessment of Dizzy Patients: The Necessity and Role of Diagnostic Tests

  •  Mahsa Bakhit    
  •  Alireza Heidarian    
  •  Sara Ehsani    
  •  Maryam Delphi    
  •  Seyed Latifi    


Over administration of diagnostic tests in health care settings is a critical issue, imposing a great deal of expenditure on health sector. Vertigo and dizziness are common complaints of many patients who seek medical advice, and the vast majority of them undergo several evaluations, including Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Laboratory tests, Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA), and Electrocardiography (ECG). The aim of this study was to investigate the performing rate of these diagnostic tests, and to evaluate their necessity and medical indications. This study was conducted on 270 dizzy patients referred to Apadana Dizziness and Vertigo Clinic, Ahvaz, Iran, from July 2008 to February 2013. Of these, 71.9% were diagnosed with peripheral lesions while laboratory assessment (58.1%) and brain MRI (38.1%) were the most requested tests. Age was an important factor, affecting the frequency of performing the ECG and Brain MRI. Medications were still administered widely even to those who seemed to respond well enough to vestibular rehabilitation. These findings revealed that many unnecessary and time-consuming diagnostic tests were performed, which had minor contribution to the final diagnosis and treatment of the patients. Therefore, a modification in the assessment methods of the dizzy patients with emphasis on history and clinical presentation seems essential.

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