Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the experiences and outcomes of patients receiving intratympanic gentamicin treatment for Ménière's disease in Norfolk, UK.
Design: This study was based on a retrospective questionnaire survey and a review of patients' medical records.
Setting: Two district hospitals.
Participants: All 29 patients treated between 1999 and 2001, with a minimum follow up of two years post-treatment, were included in the study. Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaires (79 per cent response rate).
Main outcome measures: Glasgow benefit inventory (GBI) and vertigo symptom scale (VSS) scores, plus change in hearing thresholds.
Results: The mean GBI total score was +36, indicating substantial improvement in patients' overall quality of life following gentamicin treatment. The VSS scores demonstrated low levels of vertigo or unsteadiness in treated patients. Three patients suffered deterioration in their hearing thresholds following a single injection of gentamicin. However, 96 per cent of responders stated that they would be willing to have such treatment again, if necessary.
Conclusion: Intratympanic gentamicin treatment ought to be offered to Ménière's patients suffering from disabling vertigo, with the proviso that they be made aware of the possibility of hearing deterioration.