Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 January 2015
To evaluate the effectiveness of tympanostomy tube placement in controlling symptoms of intractable Ménière's disease.
Fifteen patients with intractable Ménière's disease underwent tympanostomy tube placement in the affected ear. Post-operative changes in vertigo attacks and hearing level were recorded, and were evaluated according to American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery criteria.
At 12 months after treatment, 3 patients (20 per cent) showed complete control of vertigo, 7 (47 per cent) showed substantial control and 2 (13 per cent) showed limited control; 3 patients (20 per cent) required other treatment. At 24 months after treatment, 7 patients (47 per cent) showed complete control of vertigo, 3 (20 per cent) showed substantial control and 1 (7 per cent) showed limited control; 1 patient required other treatment 15 months after tympanostomy tube placement.
There is no definite pathophysiological explanation for the effect of tympanostomy tube placement in reducing vertigo attacks. This treatment is not effective for all patients with intractable Ménière's disease. However, tympanostomy tube placement might be an additional surgical therapeutic option to consider prior to contemplating other, more invasive treatments.
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