Comparison of second-echelon treatments for Ménière's disease

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Aug;140(8):754-61. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1249.


Importance: To compare the efficacy of treatments commonly offered to patients with Ménière's disease who fail conservative medical therapy including diuretics and a sodium-restricted diet.

Objectives: This study compared three second-echelon treatments: the Meniett device, endolymphatic sac decompression, and intratympanic gentamicin injections to determine their comparative effectiveness and capacity to mitigate against the necessity of a surgical labyrinthectomy.

Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective observational study at an academic tertiary care center. Patients with Ménière's disease who failed primary medical management were evaluated after treatment with a Meniett device (n=20), endolymphatic sac decompression (n=23) or intratympanic gentamicin injections (n=17). Cases were included if auditory and vertigo control data were available before and a minimum of two years after treatment, in patients without previous otologic surgery or intratympanic injections. Average age ranged from 54 to 75 years.

Interventions: Use of the Meniett device, endolymphatic sac shunt decompression surgery or intratympanic gentamicin injections using variable doses and injection schedules.

Main outcomes and measures: Proportion of patients with vertigo control and hearing preservation by a modified version of the AAO-HNS criteria after second-echelon treatment, thus not requiring definitive labyrinthectomy.

Results: Despite endolymphatic sac surgery demonstrating a longer duration (61 months) prior to labyrinthectomy, no differences were found between the 3 treatment options in terms of patients going on to definitive labyrinthectomy or in the number of months of symptom relief following treatment. There was also no difference in residual auditory perception across the 3 groups.

Conclusions and relevance: No significant therapeutic differences were found between the studied second-echelon treatments for symptom relief of Ménière's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Decompression, Surgical / instrumentation
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted
  • Diuretics / administration & dosage
  • Endolymphatic Shunt / methods*
  • Female
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Meniere Disease / surgery
  • Meniere Disease / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retreatment
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Diuretics
  • Gentamicins