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Laryngoscope. 2004 Dec;114(12):2085-91.

Intratympanic gentamicin for Menière's disease: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X8.



To systematically review the published experience on intratympanic gentamicin treatment for intractable Menière's disease.


Meta-analysis using a random effect model.


A comprehensive literature search was performed for articles using intratympanic gentamicin as a sole treatment modality with reporting of results according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) guidelines for Menière's disease. Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.


Fifteen trials with 627 patients met the inclusion criteria. All trials reported "before-after" outcome measures, using patients as their own controls. No double-blind or blinded prospective control trials were identified. Complete (class A) vertigo control was achieved in 74.7% (confidence interval [CI]95% 67.8-81.5%) of patients, and complete or substantial (class B) control was achieved in 92.7% (CI95% 89.5-96.0%). The success rate was not affected by gentamicin treatment regimen (fixed vs. titration). Hearing level and word recognition were not adversely affected, regardless of gentamicin treatment regimen. Analysis of functional level was not performed because of lack of data in the selected articles.


Intratympanic gentamicin treatment for intractable Menière's disease appears to be effective in the relief of vertigo. Cochleotoxicity and ototoxicity is unlikely to be a major side effect. However, the level of evidence reflected from the eligible articles is insufficient, especially because of relatively poor study design. Therefore, it is prudent that patients eligible for this type of treatment should be selected carefully and titrated with low-dose gentamicin. Further investigation with this treatment modality with control subjects is warranted.

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