Charles Skinner Hallpike (1900 – 1979) was an English otologist.
As an award-winning clinician and a researcher, Hallpike made many advances to the field of neurotology throughout his career, including the first description of the characteristic histopathological changes in Menière’s disease; the development of the bithermal caloric test; the Peep-Show technique for pure tone audiometry in young children; and finally the bed-side manoeuvre to diagnose BPPV and since named after him – the Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre.
- Born 19 July 1900 Murree, India
- 1924 – MRCS, MRCP
- 1926 – MB BS from Guy’s Hospital, London
- 1929 – Bernhard Baron research fellow, Ferens Institute of Otology, Middlesex Hospital
- 1931 – FRCS
- 1938 – Developed international reputation following his original description of the pathology of Meniere’s disease
- 1944 – Aural physician and director of the Medical Research Council’s Otology Research Unit at the National Hospital, London
- 1955 – Shambaugh Prize, Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum: CORLAS
- 1956 – Fellow of the Royal Society. FRS
- Died 26 September 1979
Dix-Hallpike Test (1952)
- Margaret Dix (1902-1991) and Charles Hallpike published a landmark paper in neuro-otology, looking at the three most common peripheral vertigo diseases: Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis and benign paroxysmal positional nystagmus.
- They described a clinical bedside manoeuvre in detail, “Lagerungs Manoeuvre”, known now as the Dix-Hallpike test, to provide an immediate diagnosis of BPPV
Peep-Show technique for pure tone audiometry (1947)
- Diagnosing deafness in children under the age of six is challenging because pure tone audiometry sounds are meaningless to young children and require explanation beyond their understanding.
- Dix and Hallpike aimed to solve this problem by designing an apparatus called the “Peep-Show”, to enable young children to reliably respond to sounds. The apparatus consisted of a lamp and loudspeaker, and a box containing hidden pictures.
- The tester shows the child that when the lamp and loudspeaker activate, the child can make the pictures appear by pressing a switch. After the child does this several times, the lamp is removed, and now only the loudspeaker activates.
- A child who can hear the sound, will still press the switch when the sound occurs, to reveal the picture. A child who cannot hear the sound, will not.
- The test allowed deafness to be identified and quantified in young children, enabling special education to commence at an early age.
Key Medical Contributions
- 1938 – Hallpike and Carins were the first to describe the characteristic histological changes in Menière’s disease.
- 1942 – Hallpike and Fitzgerald developed bithermal caloric test
- 1947 – Hallpike and Dix, developed Peep-Show technique
- 1938-1965 he was a member of the Flying Personnel Research Committee and his knowledge of ear function in health and disease contributed much to the solution of aural problems in aviation.
- Hallpike CS, Cairns H. Observations on the pathology of Menière’s syndrome. Proc R Soc Med. 1938; 31(11): 1317–1336
- Dix MR, Hallpike CS. The peep-show: a new technique for pure-tone audiometry in young children. Br Med J. 1947; 2(4531): 719-23.
- Dix MR, Hallpike CS. The pathology symptomatology and diagnosis of certain common disorders of the vestibular system. Proc R Soc Med. 1952; 45(6): 341-54
- Dix MR, Hallpike CS. The pathology, symptomatology and diagnosis of certain common disorders of the vestibular system. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1952; 61(4): 987-1016.
- Hallpike CS. Ménière’s disease. Postgrad Med J. 1955; 31(357): 330-40
- Hallpike CS. The caloric tests. J Laryngol Otol. 1956; 70(1): 15-28.
- Cawthorne T, Dix MR, Hallpike CS, Hood JD The investigation of vestibular function. Br Med Bull. 1956;12(2):131-142.
- Hallpike CS. On the case for repeal of Ewald’s second Law. Some introductory remarks. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1961; 159: 7-14.
- Obituary. Charles Skinner Hallpike. Lancet. 1979 Oct 13;2(8146):805.
- Angell-James J. In memoriam Charles Skinner Hallpike. J Laryngol Otol. 1980;94(8):801-844.
- Whitteridge D, Merton PA. Charles Skinner Hallpike. Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1984; 30: 282-295
- Baloh RW. Charles Skinner Hallpike and the beginnings of neurotology. Neurology. 2000 Jun 13;54(11):2138-46.
- Baloh RW. Vertigo: Five Physician Scientists and the Quest for a Cure. Oxford University Press. 2016: 121-200
- Bibliography. Charles Skinner Hallpike (1900 – 1979). WorldCat Identities
BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |