Background: Dizziness and vertigo are frequent complaints of outpatients in the neurological department. Our objective was to explore the epidemiological category and clinical features of patients with dizziness or vertigo in the neurological outpatient department of a tertiary hospital. Methods: We consecutively recruited all patients with dizziness and/or vertigo visiting the neurological outpatient clinic of the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University from January 2016 to June 2017. All patients were interviewed by 4 neurologists and they completed self-administered questionnaires. General physical and standardized neuro-otology bedside examinations were performed in all participants. Instrumental examinations and other related examinations were prescribed as needed. Results: A total of 392 patients, 272 female and 120 male, were enrolled and the ratio of males to females was 1: 2.27. The mean age was 52.39 ± 13.87 years (range 11–90). Elderly patients (≥60 years) accounted for about one-third of the patients. Peripheral vestibular disorders accounted for 54.6% of patients, central vestibular disorders (including vestibular migraine [VM]) accounted for 22.4% of patients, psychogenic vertigo in 64 (16.3%), other reasons in 9 (2.3%) and unknown in 17 (4.3%). Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV; 30.8%), psychiatric dizziness (20.5%), and VM (14.4%) were the 3 major vestibular diseases in patients under 60 years of age; however, BPPV (27.9%), central vertigo (21.7%), and Meniere’s disease (11.7%) were more common in patients over 60 years of age. Conclusions: This study provided a classification and clinical features of vestibular disorders in a neurological outpatient department of a tertiary hospital in China. The spectrum of vertigo or dizziness is different between different age groups and clinicians should pay attention to this difference in clinical reasoning.

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