Delayed Effect of Active Pressure Treatment on Endolymphatic Hydrops

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Objective:To identify eventual correlations between the effect of low-pressure treatment and endolymphatic hydrops in Ménière patients.Material and Methods:The study group consisted of subjects affected by definite Ménière disease (2015) and a severe degree of disability, who received a ventilation tube with or without a low-pressure treatment before undergoing a surgical procedure (vestibular neurectomy). After the placement of the ventilation tube, the subjects were either left alone with the tube or received 1 month of self-administered low-pressure therapy with a portable device. In all subjects, an electrocochleography (ECochG) was performed and specific questionnaires - Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) and Functional Scale Level (FSL) - were completed before starting either arm of treatment, at the end of treatment, and then 3 and 6 months later.Results:All selected subjects presented with an ECochG pattern that was indicative of endolymphatic hydrops before starting either treatment. At the end of pressure treatment, 80% showed symptomatic improvement while maintaining the hydropic ECochG pattern. At the 3-month control stage, the hydropic pattern resulted normalized (<0.5) in all the improved subjects.Conclusions:Although 1 month of low-pressure treatment provided a positive symptomatological outcome, normalization of the hydropic ECochG parameters occurred only at a later time. Therefore, it is possible to assume that endolymphatic hydrops could be concurrent with a non-symptomatic stage of Ménière disease, and that the anti-hydropic effect of the low-pressure treatment, if any, would present with a certain delay after its completion.

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