Trends in the diagnosis and the management of Meniere's disease: results of a survey

Harold H Kim, Richard J Wiet, Robert A Battista
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2005, 132 (5): 722-6

OBJECTIVE: To determine the practices of the American Neurotology Society (ANS) membership in the evaluation and treatment of the Meniere's patient.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective.

INTERVENTION: Questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Respondents' response to questions pertaining to the diagnostic and therapeutic practices in the management of Meniere's disease.

RESULTS: Three hundred members of ANS were mailed a 15-item questionnaire. Two hundred three responded, for a 67.7% response rate. For the diagnosis of Meniere's disease, 1 in 3 practitioners relied solely on history, physical exam, and audiometry, whereas 2 in 3 relied in part on adjunctive tests, such as electrocochleography (ECOG) and electronystagmography (ENG). Two in 3 practitioners pursued retrocochlear studies on initial evaluation, with the overwhelming majority using MRI. In treating Meniere's disease, conservative medical management was preferred. For medically recalcitrant Meniere's disease, endolymphatic sac surgery (ESS) was the most commonly employed initial intervention (50%), followed by transtympanic gentamicin (38%). Currently, <10% routinely recommend the Meniett device. Eighty-three percent include ESS as a therapeutic option for medically recalcitrant Meniere's disease. The vast majority continue to perform surgical labyrinthectomies and vestibular nerve sections for Meniere's disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Meniere's disease continues to pose a difficult diagnostic and therapeutic problem, resulting in heterogeneous approaches to both evaluation and treatment. Despite the 1995 American Academy of Otolaryngology guidelines in the diagnosis of Meniere's disease, most clinicians rely in part on ENG or ECOG in diagnosing Meniere's disease. Furthermore, despite the passing of 20 years since the publications claiming a purely placebo effect, ESS is the most commonly employed initial surgical treatment for Meniere's disease.

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