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Laryngoscope. 2004 Feb;114(2):216-22.

Vestibular nerve section versus intratympanic gentamicin for Meniere's disease.

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Pittsburgh Ear Associates, 429 East North Avenue, Suite 422, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



Vestibular nerve section and transtympanic gentamicin administration are procedures with proven efficacy in the treatment of vertigo associated with Meniere's disease refractory to medical management. Hearing loss is a known complication of each of these procedures; however, there has not been a report of hearing results of both treatments from a single institution.


Retrospective review.


Review was made of 25 patients undergoing gentamicin injection and 39 patients undergoing vestibular nerve section for Meniere's disease. Rate of vertigo control and pretreatment and post-treatment pure-tone average values and speech discrimination scores were reported.


The mean preoperative pure-tone average for patients having vestibular nerve section was 47.2 dB, with a speech discrimination score of 75.4%. In these patients, the postoperative pure-tone average was 49.1 dB and the speech discrimination score was 75%. Patients undergoing gentamicin injection had a mean pretreatment pure-tone average of 55.9 dB and a speech discrimination score of 62%. The post-treatment pure-tone average and speech discrimination score for the gentamicin group were 68.8 dB and 49.3%, respectively. Five of 25 patients (20%) in the gentamicin treatment group and 1 of 39 (3%) in the vestibular nerve section treatment group had an increase in bone-conduction threshold greater than 30 dB. The amount of postprocedure hearing loss was significantly greater in the gentamicin treatment group (P =.006). Control of vertigo was good to excellent in 95% of the patients treated with vestibular nerve section and in 80% of the patients treated with gentamicin.


Although vestibular nerve section and transtympanic gentamicin are both acceptable treatment options for vertigo associated with Meniere's disease, gentamicin causes a higher level of hearing loss related to treatment and vestibular nerve section has higher vertigo control rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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