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J Laryngol Otol. 1996 Dec;110(12):1107-13.

Menière's disease: evolution of a definition.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Walton Hospital, Liverpool, UK.


In 1861 Prosper Menière separated patients with episodic vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus from a group previously described as having apoplectiform cerebral congestion. He suggested the cause was disease within the semicircular canals (Menière, 1861). Over the years it became apparent that within this group there were a number of patients with characteristic signs and symptoms and in 1938 a pathological correlate was found in the form of endolymphatic hydrops. Descriptions such as Menière's 'disease', Menière's 'syndrome' and Menière's 'symptom complex' led to a confusing array of terms for this condition and monitoring of treatment results became difficult. In response to this in 1972 the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium published a clear definition of Menière's disease and criteria for the reporting of treatment results, it was updated in 1985 and again in 1995. We describe the changes that have taken place as the definition of Menière's disease has evolved.

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