Skip to main content Accessibility help

Aural fullness and transtympanic ventilation tubes in Ménière's disease: a scoping review

  • C Sevilla (a1), J Goody (a1), D M Baguley (a2) (a3) (a4) and A V Kasbekar (a2) (a3) (a5)



Ménière's disease often presents with aural fullness, for reasons that are currently not well understood. Transtympanic ventilation tube insertion has been historically used for the management of this symptom, though the nature and mechanism of effectiveness is unclear.


To give an overview of the data available on the effects of ventilation tube insertion on aural fullness in Ménière's disease.


The databases PubMed, Embase, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, Central and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant records. Records were subsequently analysed and data extracted.


Only two studies directly measured the effect of ventilation tube insertion on aural fullness, while three others measured it as a placebo to assess another treatment. Considerable heterogeneity was found amongst the studies, including conflicting conclusions.


There is a paucity of evidence investigating the effect of grommet insertion on aural fullness in Ménière's disease. This work directs future research into this topic.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Mr Christian Sevilla, 40 Castle Gardens, Nottingham NG7 1HH, UK E-mail:


Hide All

Mr C Sevilla takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



Hide All
1Goebel, JA. 2015 Equilibrium Committee Amendment to the 1995 AAO-HNS Guidelines for the Definition of Meniere's Disease. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2016;154:403–4
2Naganawa, S, Nakashima, T. Visualization of endolymphatic hydrops with MR imaging in patients with Meniere's disease and related pathologies: current status of its methods and clinical significance. Jpn J Radiol 2014;32:191204
3Salt, AN, Plontke, SK. Endolymphatic hydrops: pathophysiology and experimental models. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2010;43:971–83
4Levo, H, Kentala, E, Rasku, J, Pyykko, I. Aural fullness in Meniere's disease. Audiol Neurootol 2014;19:395–9
5Vass, Z, Shore, SE, Nuttall, AL, Miller, JM. Endolymphatic hydrops reduces retrograde labeling of trigeminal innervation to the cochlea. Exp Neurol 1998;151:241–8
6Flores, EN, Duggan, A, Madathany, T, Hogan, AK, Marquez, FG, Kumar, G et al. A non-canonical pathway from cochlea to brain signals tissue-damaging noise. Curr Biol 2015;25:606–12
7Liu, C, Glowatzki, E, Fuchs, PA. Unmyelinated type II afferent neurons report cochlear damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015;112:14723–7
8Park, MS, Lee, HY, Kang, HM, Ryu, EW, Lee, SK, Yeo, SG. Clinical manifestations of aural fullness. Yonsei Med J 2012;53:985–91
9Smith, WK, Sankar, V, Pfleiderer, AG. A national survey amongst UK otolaryngologists regarding the treatment of Meniere's disease. J Laryngol Otol 2005;119:102–5
10Harcourt, J, Barraclough, K, Bronstein, AM. Meniere's disease. BMJ 2014;349:g6544
11Thomsen, J, Bonding, P, Becker, B, Stage, J, Tos, M. The non-specific effect of endolymphatic sac surgery in treatment of Meniere's disease: a prospective, randomized controlled study comparing “classic” endolymphatic sac surgery with the insertion of a ventilating tube in the tympanic membrane. Acta Otolaryngol 1998;118:769–73
12Montandon, P, Guillemin, P, Hausler, R. Prevention of vertigo in Meniere's syndrome by means of transtympanic ventilation tubes. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 1988;50:377–81
13Ogawa, Y, Otsuka, K, Hagiwara, A, Inagaki, A, Shimizu, S, Nagai, N et al. Clinical study of tympanostomy tube placement for patients with intractable Meniere's disease. J Laryngol Otol 2015;129:120–5
14Park, J, Chen, Y, Westhofen, M. Meniere's disease and middle ear pressure – vestibular function after transtympanic tube placement. Acta Otolaryngol 2009;129:1408–13
15Sugawara, K, Kitamura, K, Ishida, T, Sejima, T. Insertion of tympanic ventilation tubes as a treating modality for patients with Meniere's disease: a short- and long-term follow-up study in seven cases. Auris Nasus Larynx 2003;30:25–8
16Kimura, RS, Hutta, J. Inhibition of experimentally induced endolymphatic hydrops by middle ear ventilation. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 1997;254:213–18
17Syed, I, Aldren, C. Meniere's disease: an evidence based approach to assessment and management. Int J Clin Pract 2012;66:166–70
18Arksey, H, O'Malley, L. Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. Int J Soc Res Methodol 2005;8:1932
19Dayal, P. Observations on the use of grommets in Meniere's disease. Indian J Otolaryngol 1971;23:119–23
20Densert, B, Densert, O, Arlinger, S, Sass, K, Ödkvist, L. Immediate effects of middle ear pressure changes on the electrocochleographic recordings in patients with Meniere's disease: a clinical placebo-controlled study. Am J Otol 1997;18:726–33
21Odkvist, LM, Arlinger, S, Billermark, E, Densert, B, Lindholm, S, Wallqvist, J. Effects of middle ear pressure changes on clinical symptoms in patients with Meniere's disease – a clinical multicentre placebo-controlled study. Acta Otolarngol Suppl 2000;543:99101
22Postema, R, Kingma, C, Wit, H, Albers, F, Van Der Laan, B. Intratympanic gentamicin therapy for control of vertigo in unilateral Meniere's disease: a prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Acta Otolaryngol 2008;128:876–80
23Lall, M. Meniere's disease and the grommet (a survey of its therapeutic effects). J Laryngol Otol 1969;83:787–91
24OCEBM Levels of Evidence Working Group. The Oxford Levels of Evidence 2: Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. In: [13 January 2019]
25Burns, PB, Rohrich, RJ, Chung, KC. The levels of evidence and their role in evidence-based medicine. Plast Reconstr Surg 2011;128:305–10
26Yardley, L, Dibb, B, Osborne, G. Factors associated with quality of life in Meniere's disease. Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci 2003;28:436–41
27Belinchon, A, Perez-Garrigues, H, Tenias, JM, Lopez, A. Hearing assessment in Meniere's disease. Laryngoscope 2011;121:622–6
28Probst, P, Grummich, K, Harnoss, JC, Hüttner, FJ, Jensen, K, Braun, S et al. Placebo-controlled trials in surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) 2016;95;e3516
29RCS Policy Unit. Position Statement: use of placebo surgery in surgical research. Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 2016;98:80–1


Aural fullness and transtympanic ventilation tubes in Ménière's disease: a scoping review

  • C Sevilla (a1), J Goody (a1), D M Baguley (a2) (a3) (a4) and A V Kasbekar (a2) (a3) (a5)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed