Vestibular nerve section versus intratympanic gentamicin for Meniere's disease

Todd A Hillman, Douglas A Chen, Moises A Arriaga
Laryngoscope 2004, 114 (2): 216-22

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Vestibular nerve section and transtympanic gentamicin administration are procedures with proven efficacy in the treatment of vertigo associated with Meniere's disease refractory to medical management. Hearing loss is a known complication of each of these procedures; however, there has not been a report of hearing results of both treatments from a single institution.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review.

METHODS: Review was made of 25 patients undergoing gentamicin injection and 39 patients undergoing vestibular nerve section for Meniere's disease. Rate of vertigo control and pretreatment and post-treatment pure-tone average values and speech discrimination scores were reported.

RESULTS: The mean preoperative pure-tone average for patients having vestibular nerve section was 47.2 dB, with a speech discrimination score of 75.4%. In these patients, the postoperative pure-tone average was 49.1 dB and the speech discrimination score was 75%. Patients undergoing gentamicin injection had a mean pretreatment pure-tone average of 55.9 dB and a speech discrimination score of 62%. The post-treatment pure-tone average and speech discrimination score for the gentamicin group were 68.8 dB and 49.3%, respectively. Five of 25 patients (20%) in the gentamicin treatment group and 1 of 39 (3%) in the vestibular nerve section treatment group had an increase in bone-conduction threshold greater than 30 dB. The amount of postprocedure hearing loss was significantly greater in the gentamicin treatment group (P =.006). Control of vertigo was good to excellent in 95% of the patients treated with vestibular nerve section and in 80% of the patients treated with gentamicin.

CONCLUSION: Although vestibular nerve section and transtympanic gentamicin are both acceptable treatment options for vertigo associated with Meniere's disease, gentamicin causes a higher level of hearing loss related to treatment and vestibular nerve section has higher vertigo control rates.

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