Objective: We aimed to investigate if there is an alteration in CD4 and CD8 T-cell populations and in CD25 and CD49d activation antigens linked to these cells during an acute attack of Ménière's disease (MD).
Material and methods: Patients with MD who met the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery criteria for the disease and healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were collected during an acute attack of MD and when the disease was in its quiescent phase.
Results: 16 patients with MD and nine healthy controls were enrolled. The percentage of CD4 (T helper) cells was significantly increased during an acute attack of MD compared to that in healthy controls and in patients in the quiescent phase (71% vs 58% and 59%, respectively; p < 0.05). The increase in activation antigens was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first demonstration of an increase in CD4 cells during an acute attack of MD. Further investigation is required to clarify the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of the disease.