The pathogenesis of Ménière's disease is associated with a disorder of ionic homeostasis, with the pathologic correlate being endolymphatic hydrops. Despite uncertainty as to its particular mode of action, it is accepted wisdom that intra-tympanic gentamicin has a definite therapeutic role in the control of symptoms in patients who fail to respond to medical therapy. This study reports an evaluation of the efficacy of intra-tympanic gentamicin in the treatment of Ménière's disease and also presents a simple, reliable, safe method of administering gentamicin for this purpose.
A retrospective review of 56 patients undergoing intra-tympanic gentamicin treatment for Ménière's disease was conducted. Response to treatment was analysed using a patient survey and examination of pure-tone averages. An overall significant improvement in vertigo symptoms of 81.3 per cent was found. There was a 21.4 per cent rate of significant hearing loss, defined as greater than 10 dB, with an average loss in this group of 18.5 dB. A single dose of gentamicin applied directly to the round window resulted in a high rate of control of vertigo, with acceptably low rates of hearing loss.