Diagnostic Usefulness of Multifrequency Tympanometry for Ménière’s Disease

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Multifrequency tympanometry (MFT) is the measurement of the impedance of the middle ear transmission system at a wide range of frequencies from 200 Hz to 2 kHz. A potential use of MFT as a new diagnostic tool for detecting endolymphatic hydrops has recently been reported. However, its clinical usefulness for diagnosing Ménière’s disease (MD) remains unclear. To evaluate the clinical usefulness of MFT as a new qualitative and diagnostic test for MD, we performed MFT in 70 patients with unilateral or bilateral MD and in 29 normal control subjects. The width of double peaks in the admittance tympanograms (Y width) at 2 kHz and the resonance frequency (RF) were analyzed, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed. The Y width in MD-affected ears was significantly greater than that in control ears (p < 0.001). The RF in MD-affected ears was significantly lower than that in control ears (p < 0.01). Neither the Y width nor RF had a significant relationship with hearing levels or the results of caloric and vestibular myogenic potential testings. The area under the ROC curve was 0.71 for the Y width and 0.66 for the RF. At the optimal cutoff points, the sensitivity and specificity of the Y width were 47.3 and 86.8%, respectively, and those of the RF were 41.3 and 84.2%, respectively. These results indicated that MFT is significantly associated with the presence of MD, but its diagnostic accuracy is only modest. MFT is a simple, noninvasive test, which should be considered as a complementary test in the diagnosis of MD.Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel

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