Long-Term Hearing Results Following Vestibular Surgery in Meniere's Disease

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Abstract

Objectives:

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the long-term hearing changes following vestibular surgery in patients with Meniere's disease.

Study Design:

This is a retrospective analysis of patients operated on in a tertiary referral center setting.

Methods:

Preoperative, postoperative, and 3- to 9-year postoperative audiograms were analyzed in two patient groups. Twenty-one patients underwent posterior fossa vestibular neurectomy (VN) and five, mastoid endolymphatic sac decompression and shunt (ELS). All frequencies, four-frequency pure-tone averages (PTAs), spondee thresholds, and speech recognition scores were compared for operated ear against nonoperated ear of VN subjects. The results were subjected to a covariance analysis. VN and ELS patients whose hearing deteriorated from "serviceable" (PTA ≤70 dB hearing level) and speech recognition ≥30%) to nonserviceable status were compared using nonparametric statistics.

Results:

Progressive hearing loss beyond the rate of change of the normal contralateral ear was evident in all patients. Serviceable hearing dropped from 81% to 43% of patients an average of 4 years following VN.

Conclusions:

VN patients have significant hearing deterioration over time in the operated ear. This finding suggests that continued postoperative medical management is necessary for patients undergoing VN.

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