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Menière’s disease


Menière’s disease causes paroxysmal rotatory vertigo, due to endolymphatic hydrops, an accumulation of endolymph in the endolymphatic space of the labyrinth. Its major symptoms are attacks of rotatory vertigo lasting minutes to hours, with unilateral hearing loss, tinnitus and aural fullness. As the disease progresses, attacks happen less often, but hearing loss and tinnitus gradually become permanent. Neuro-otological complications may develop, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular drop attacks and bilateral vestibulopathy. The diagnosis of Menière’s disease is based on the typical clinical picture and typical findings on the audiogram. Furthermore, it is now possible to diagnose it by MR of the inner ear. Long-term management has several steps, including diet, diuretics, intratympanic injection of corticosteroid or gentamicin and surgery (endolymphatic sac surgery, grommet insertion, surgical labyrinthectomy).

  • Vertigo
  • Neurootology
  • ENT

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  • Editors’ commentary
    Phil E M Smith Geraint N Fuller

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