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Ear Nose Throat J. 2000 Feb;79(2):82-3, 86-8, 91-2.

Low-dose oral methotrexate management of patients with bilateral Ménière's disease.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgrey, Medical College of Virginia of Virginia of Commononwealth University, Richmond, USA.


In this retrospective clinical trial, we evaluated the effectiveness of low-dose oral methotrexate in the management of bilateral Ménière's disease of immune-mediated origin. At our tertiary-care referral center, we evaluated ten men and eight women who had longstanding bilateral Ménière's disease that had been unresponsive to traditional conservative medical management. Sixteen of these patients had steroid-responsive bilateral Ménière's disease. Two patients had contraindications to steroids, but their clinical and laboratory evaluations were consistent with an immune-mediated process. Patients were treated with 7.5 to 20 mg/week of oral methotrexate. The mean duration of treatment was 16.7 months (range: 8 to 35), with a mean followup of 2 years (range: 9 mo to 5 yr). Changes in clinical symptoms (vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness), audiometric changes, and side effects of therapy were evaluated. Vertigo resolved in 14 patients (78%), was substantially alleviated in three patients (17%), and remained unchanged in one patient (6%). Hearing improved in five patients (28%) and stabilized in seven patients (39%). Tinnitus and aural fullness resolved or was relieved in 11 of 17 (65%) and 13 of 14 (93%) patients, respectively. Side effects were minimal and reversible. We conclude that low-dose oral methotrexate is effective and safe for treating bilateral Ménière's disease of immune-mediated origin. In this study, methotrexate alleviated vertiginous symptoms and improved or stabilized hearing in most patients. Low-dose methotrexate can be considered for patients with immune-mediated bilateral Ménière's disease when long-term treatment is required or when a steroid or cyclophosphamide is contraindicated.

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