Vestibular function outcomes after vestibular neurectomy in Meniere disease: can vestibular neurectomy provide complete vestibular deafferentation?

M Leveque, L Seidermann, H Tran, T Langagne, E Ulmer, A Chays
Auris, Nasus, Larynx 2010, 37 (3): 308-13

OBJECTIVE: Vestibular neurectomy is considered the reference treatment of incapacitating vertigo accompanying Meniere disease, with an efficiency rate of 85-95% in most literature reports. The aim of this study is to evaluate if vestibular neurectomy can provide a complete vestibular deafferentation by investigating complete vestibular function after surgery.

METHODS: Prospective study. Twenty-four patients suffering from incapacitated Meniere vertigo crisis beneficiated from a vestibular neurectomy by retrosigmoid approach. The average time between surgery and vestibular evaluation was 1 year. We performed (i) kinetic test, (ii) caloric test and (iii) vibration-induced nystagmus (VIN) at 30, 60 and 100Hz under videonystagmography recording, (iv) vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP), (v) video head impulsed test (VHIT) for each semicircular canals and (vi) an evaluation of visual vertical and horizontal subjective (VVS and HVS).

RESULTS: On clinical evaluation, all the patients except one had never experienced any recurrence of vertigo crisis after surgery. The 24 patients would definitely undergo the surgery again. On vestibular evaluation, on the operated side, all patients showed a total areflexia at caloric test; 23 patients had no VEMP response; 23 patients had abolished canals response to VHIT. All the patients had VVS and HVS deviated towards the operated side; 23 patients had a high velocity VIN from 30 to 60Hz.

CONCLUSION: This study proves that vestibular neurectomy can provide a complete vestibular deafferentation. We discuss this vestibular evaluation protocol and the main difficulties encounter during surgery, which could lead to partial nerve section and partial relief, and explain residual vestibular function after vestibular neurectomy.

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