Cervical spine radiographs in patients with vertigo and dizziness

  • Carmen Bécares-MartínezEmail author
  • Aurora López-Llames
  • Alberto Martín-Pagán
  • Antonio Enrique Cores-Prieto
  • Marta Arroyo-Domingo
  • Jaime Marco-Algarra
  • María Morales-Suárez-Varela



The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of cervical radiography in the study of patients with vertigo and dizziness.


This is a retrospective single-institution case series study of 493 patients suffering from vertigo and dizziness who were referred (from January 2011 to December 2012) to the hospital to study those symptoms.


We studied cervical radiographies, CT and MRI of the cervical spine made in the sample and the radiological findings. We analyzed demographic characteristics, presence of psychiatric pathology and emergency assistance due to vertigo in patients who have undergone cervical study.


A total of 57% of patients had cervical radiography made; this was more frequent in women, Spanish people, with psychiatric pathology and who have gone to the emergency department for vertigo (p < 0.05). Degenerative changes were found in 74.1% of the patients with radiography made, more frequently at an older age, osteophytes in 49.5% and abnormal cervical lordosis in 37.1%.


There are sociodemographic factors that influence in the request for cervical radiographs in patients with vertigo and dizziness. Given the suspicion of cervical vertigo, we do not consider that the findings in the radiographs help in the diagnosis. In our opinion, an excessive use of cervical radiography is made in patients with vertigo and dizziness.


Diagnostic imaging Dizziness Neck Osteoarthritis Radiography Spine Vertigo 



Primary care


Magnetic resonance imaging


Computed tomography


Emergency department


Ear nose and throat



The authors thank the staff of the ENT department of the Hospital of Torrevieja, for their critical analysis of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of economic or other interests.

Ethical standard

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Bécares-Martínez
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Aurora López-Llames
    • 1
  • Alberto Martín-Pagán
    • 3
  • Antonio Enrique Cores-Prieto
    • 3
  • Marta Arroyo-Domingo
    • 4
  • Jaime Marco-Algarra
    • 2
    • 5
  • María Morales-Suárez-Varela
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyHospital Universitario de TorreviejaTorreviejaSpain
  2. 2.University of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyHospital Universitario de TorreviejaTorreviejaSpain
  4. 4.Department of OtolaryngologyHospital Universitario Reina Sofía de MurciaMurciaSpain
  5. 5.Department of OtolaryngologyHospital Clínico Universitario de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  6. 6.Unit of Public Health and Environmental Care, Department of Preventive MedicineCIBER in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)MadridSpain

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