Menière's disease patients improve specific posturographic parameters following diagnostic intratympanic injection

Am J Otolaryngol. 2020 Jul-Aug;41(4):102468. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2020.102468. Epub 2020 Mar 24.


Purpose: Evaluation of specific computerized posturographic parameters in patients with Menière's disease (MD) following the intratympanic injection of gadolinium, a contrast agent, used in radiological diagnosing.

Materials and methods: We have observed 12 adult patients with unilateral Menière's Disease subjected to inner ear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination after intratympanic gadolinium injection (ITG). The diagnoses have been performed according to the guidelines of the American Academy of otolaryngology. Before and after 24 h the ITG, all patients were subjected to the clinical evaluation and computerized posturography (CP), in 4 conditions depending on open/closed eyes and with/without foam cushion under feet.

Results: After ITG, in the affected ear the MRI confirmed the endolymphatic hydrops revealing a thin or even disappeared perilymphatic space. The statokinesigram showed improvement of stability only with closed eyes on a foam cushion. The CP performed 24 h after the contrast intratympanic injection showed a significant reduction of Path Length and Confidence Ellipse Area, due to an improvement of vestibular function on static balance. This improvement could be directly dependent to intratympanic pressure modification mediated by volume of contrast liquid, by "columella effect".

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the absence of vestibular damage in patients undergoing intratympanic gadolinium infiltration and confirms the relationship between intratympanic pressure and vestibular stability modifications providing positive evidences for an applicative use of CP as a functional assessment to better address diagnosis and follow-up in MD patients treated with intratympanic injections.

Keywords: Columella effect; Computerized posturography; Dizziness; Gadolinium; Menière's disease; Stabilometry.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage*
  • Ear, Inner / diagnostic imaging*
  • Endolymphatic Hydrops / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Gadolinium / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injection, Intratympanic
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Meniere Disease / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance*
  • Pressure*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tympanic Membrane
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium