Relationship Between the Extent of Endolymphatic Hydrops and the Severity and Fluctuation of Audiovestibular Symptoms in Patients With Menière's Disease and MRI Evidence of Hydrops

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To characterize the short-, middle-, and long-term occurrence of vertigo attacks in a large population of Menière's disease (MD) and to investigate the relationship between the extent of endolymphatic hydrops (ELH) and the severity of audiovestibular symptoms.

Study Design:

Prospective observational study.


One hundred ninety-two patients with clinically definite MD participated in this study. The degree of ELH was visualized by locally enhanced inner ear magnetic resonance imaging. The occurrence and intensity of vertigo attacks, hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness were documented in patient diaries.


There was no significant correlation between the extent of cochlear or vestibular hydrops and the number of definite vertigo days, neither with regard to a short-term nor with regard to a middle-term time period. There was also no correlation between the extent of ELH and the intensity or activity of the coexisting aural symptoms hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness. The duration of the disease significantly correlated with the extent of both cochlear and vestibular hydrops, but not with the number of definite vertigo days.


The ELH was progressive in the long-term course of the disease in this large population of definite MD patients, but short-term and middle-term fluctuations of the symptom severity did not involve measurable variations of the ELH. Furthermore, the symptom severity did not decrease with increasing disease duration.

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