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Laryngoscope. 1991 Mar;101(3):225-9.

Menière's disease: an immune complex-mediated illness?

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House Ear Clinic, Los Angeles, CA.


The cause of Menière's disease is unknown. Recent clinical research suggests that one etiology is immune-mediated damage to the inner ear. The diagnosis of autoimmune Menière's syndrome is largely based on history, response to steroids, or results of nonspecific laboratory tests such as serological studies. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) assay was used to determine levels of circulating immune complexes (CIC) in 30 patients with Menière's disease and 20 control subjects. Patients with Menière's disease had a statistically significant elevation of serum circulating immune complexes when compared to the control group. This suggests that CICs may be involved in the pathogenesis of Menière's disease, either as a direct cause of damage, or as a by-product of an underlying autoimmune abnormality. Therapeutic implications include use of plasmapheresis to remove the complexes or CIC monitoring to serve as a marker for treatment efficacy.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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