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© Borgis - New Medicine 1/2007, s. 2-5
*Jarosław Wysocki1, 2, Piotr Orszulak1
Analysis of key agents influencing therapeutic success in balance disturbances treated ambulatory by Betahistine
1Clinic of Otolaryngology and Rehabilitation II Medical Faculty University Medical School in Warsaw, Poland
Head of Clinic: Jarosław Wysocki, MD, PhD
2Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland
Vertigo and dizziness are common medical problems, associated with several specialties. Management with these patients is lingering, difficult and not in every case successful. In order to find and assess possible factors influencing final therapeutic success in therapy of vertigo and balance disorders a prospective, questionnaire study in primary care units was realized. Patients (4648), adults and adolescents, both gender, suffering from vertigo or other balance disturbances were included into the study. Results of Betahistine (Histimerck(r)) application during a 30-60 days period in doses 24 or 48 mg/day was analyzed. Withdrawal of vertigo or dizziness in physical examination were undertaken as a therapeutic success. Generally results of therapy were better in patients with diagnosis of vertigo labyrhintica and in younger than in older patients. Statistically significant positive influence on therapeutic success was proved not for summaric dose of Betahistine but for summaric time of therapy and therapy according to alternative model: the different dose in the following 30 days. Head injury in the past, cervical spine degenerative changes and VIII nerve diseases deteriorated chances of headache, waving and visual disorders release but only for patients with diagnose of vertigo centralis. In patients with vertigo labyrhintica hypertension significantly deteriorated final result in headache release. It was also proved negative influence of acoustic injury on vertigo release in all the patients. We could conclude that to the group which is anticipated as having worse therapeutic effects belong older patients and patients burdened with cervical spine degenerative changes, acoustic injury and head or cervical spine injuries in the past. Extending the time of therapy until 60 days provides considerable positive effect.

Patients with vertigo, dizziness and other balance disorders more frequently suffer from metabolic disorders such as excess weight, hyperlipoproteinemia, intolerance of glucose, hyperinsulinemia, however arterial hypertension, degenerative changes in cervical spine, disorders of arterial flow are also common in these patients [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].
Dizziness and other disorders of equilibrium are widespread in populations of industrialized countries, particularly in people that are more then 40 years old [9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. 80% of patients with vertigo suffer from significant drop in the life´s quality, which is caused by dysphoria, difficulties in everyday life and by continuous search for medical aid [12]. In majority of the equilibrium´s disorders, attempts to discern the concrete etiologic factor, fail. Thus diagnoses often state a vascular background or idiopathic origin, which makes a causal treatment impossible [5, 10, 14, 15]. Thorough study of etiopathogenesis of vertigo is difficult because epidemiological research provides very little detailed data [10, 12, 15, 16]. Fortunately very recently appeared some detailed epidemiological works on occurrence of different burdens in patients with vertigo. This works were stating that, for example, the occurrence of the diabetes is 2-3 times more often in patients with vertigo than in control groups [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Nevertheless the research lacks of data on the influence of these burdens on results of therapy.
The Betahistine is an effective medicine in the practical treatment of vertigo. It is a medicine of complex and not fully understood mechanism of work [17]. It is an analogue of histamine with large affinity to receptor H3 (the antagonist) and small affinity to receptor H1 [the agonist], exerting a final effect of vasodilatation in the area of vertebral and basilar arteries [18]. Its curing influence concerns not only vestibulocochlear organ but also the central nervous system. In patients with vertigo and after recent brain apoplexy a betahistine therapy can be an equivalent of traditional treatment with antithrombotic drugs or even better [19].
Materials and methods
Research was carried on patients with hearing and balance impairment, treated by otolaryngologists or neurologists with Histimerck(r) at outpatient wards. The analysis includes 4648 persons in age spectrum from 16 to 91 years old. Diagnoses stated Vertigo originis centralis (diagnosis I) or Vertigo labyrhintica (diagnosis II). The inquiry was specially constructed for the needs of this investigation. Patients answered a questionnaire on how they were experiencing their ailments during the three major periods: 1) before undertaking the treatment, 2) after 30 days of treatment and 3) after 60 days of therapy. Apart from questions on demographic data and ailment, inquiry contained also a string of questions referring to possible coincident factors causing deterioration, such as: the diabetes, arterial hypertension, noise exposure, intake of ototoxic medicines, old head injury, degenerative changes in cervical spine and/or its injury, pathologies in middle or internal ear, and diseases of vestibulo-cochlear nerve.
In therapy of vertigo betahistine (Histimerck(r)) was applied in periods of 30-60 days, in doses of 24 or 48 mg/day.
The data from questionnaires were saved on the computer using special, author´s coding program. These operations allowed to obtain a data with possibly little mistakes, which are additionally dividable in to homogeneous groups.
The descriptive statistics allowed to obtain basic data on a numbers of individual gatherings. Various statistical tests in analysis of differences and correlation were applied. T-Student test, analysis of variance and χ2 test showed differences in the matrix of the data. During statistical analysis calculated overage surpluses of Wanke were employed, which informed about excessive numbers in some classes of correlation matrix. The coefficients Pearson´s of correlation were counted characterising the strength of relationship among pairs of variables. It the value of level of significance α= 0,05 was accepted. Nevertheless in majority of cases this level was lower than 0,001 or even 0,0001, which says that proved differences can occur with very large probability.
Table 1. Distribution of gender and age in the study group regarding final diagnose.
Diagnose/gender and ageVertigo originis centralisVertigo labyrinthica
mean agemen59.4751.18
Represents a number of patients distinguished by sex and diagnosis into several groups. Age-dependant differences were statistically important. The patients with diagnosed Vertigo originis centralis were generally older than patients with diagnosed Vertigo labyrinthica.
Table 2. Percentage of patients, which presented the following symptoms regarding diagnose-distinguished groups.
Diagnose/symptomsVertigo originis centralisVertigo labyrinthica
sickness, vomiting44.5465.81
waving of ground69.2538.49
blurs before eyes54.2725.64
Shows the subjective symptoms reported by both kinds of patients during the first visit. All differences were statistically significant.
Table 3. Percentage of patients (in groups) burdened with individual factors.
FactorVertigo originis centralisVertigo labyrinthica
noise exposure/acoustic injury14.3420.43
brain stroke13.633.22
degeneration of cervical spine71.8743.7
labyrhintitis in the past5.3312.7
chronic otitis media present or in the past4.4713.94
diseases of VIII-th nerve in the past3.257.37
therapy with aminoclycosides in the past7.7111.86
therapy with polypeptide antibiotics in the past2.133.23
therapy with cytostatic drugs in the past1.111.44
therapy with diuretic drugs in the past22.1211.94
middle ear operations in the past1.97.9
other operations in total anesthesia in the past36.2229.04
head injury in the past16.1313.21
cervical spine injury in the past9.87.7
Presents the factors burdening patients in both groups. These factors could increase risk to more pronounced symptoms or an increase in their intensity. Only cytostatic treatment in the past did not hold any difference in either of patient diagnosis-groups. All other differences were essential or highly essential. For example, patients with diagnosis I more often suffered from arterial hypertension, and therefore more often ingested diuretics. Perhaps because of age average patients with diagnose I also more often (in over 70%) suffered from spondylosis of cervical spine. They also more frequently suffered from diabetes.
On the other hand, patients with diagnosis II more often worked in high noise level environment, had chronic otitis media or were more often exposed on ototoxic medicines such as aminoglycosides or polypeptides.
Detailed analysis regarding sex showed that some factors were significantly more often present in men. These were: noise exposure, chronic inflammation, operation on the middle ear, injury to the head or injury of the cervical spine.

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Adres do korespondencji:
*Jarosław Wysocki MD, PhD
Clinic of Otolaryngology and Rehabilitation
II Medical Faculty University Medical
School in Warsaw, Poland, Kajetany,
05-830 Nadarzyn, Mokra Str. 17
tel./fax: +48 22 835 52 14
e-mail: j.wysocki@ifps.org.pl

New Medicine 1/2007
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