Diagnostic Criteria for Meniere’s Disease

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Meniere´s disease is defined as recurrent, spontaneous episodic vertigo, hearing loss, aural fullness and tinnitus. Recurrent endolymphatic hypertension (hydrops) is believed to cause the episodes.

According to the guidelines from AAO-HNS Committee of Hearing and Equilibrium the three major symptoms are described as follows:

Vertigo

  • Recurrent, well-defined episodes of spinning or rotation

  • Duration ranging from 20 min to 24 h

  • Nystagmus associated with attacks

  • Nausea and vomiting during vertigo spells common

  • No neurologic symptoms with vertigo

Deafness

  • Hearing deficits fluctuate

  • Sensorineural hearing loss

  • Hearing loss progressive, usually unilateral

Tinnitus

  • Variable, often low pitched and louder during attacks

  • Usually unilateral on the affected side

  • Subjective

 

Diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease

Possible Meniere’s disease

  • Episodic vertigo of the Meniere’s type without documented hearing loss, or
  • Sensorineural hearing loss, fluctuating or fixed, with dysequilibrium but without definitive episodes
  • Other causes excluded


Probable Meniere’s disease

  • One definitive episode of vertigo
  • Audiometrically documented hearing loss on at least one occasion
  • Tinnitus or aural fullness in the treated ear
  • Other causes excluded


Definite Meniere’s disease

  • Two or more definitive spontaneous episodes of vertigo 20 minutes or longer
  • Audiometrically documented hearing loss on at least one occasion
  • Tinnitus or aural fullness in the treated ear
  • Other cases excluded


Certain Meniere’s disease

  • Definite Meniere’s disease, plus histopathologic confirmation

 

References:

  1. Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium guidelines for the diagnosis and evaluation of therapy in Meniere’s disease.American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Foundation, Inc. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Sep;113(3):181-5. [Medline]
  2. Thorp MA, Shehab ZP, Bance ML, Rutka JA; AAO-HNS Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium. The AAO-HNS Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium guidelines for the diagnosis and evaluation of therapy in Meniere’s disease: have they been applied in the published literature of the last decade? Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2003 Jun;28(3):173-6. [Medline]

Created: May 07, 2006