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Unilateral and Bilateral Meniere’s Disease Characteristics

Unilateral and Bilateral Meniere’s Disease Characteristics

December 10, 2012 In the News

Clemmens and Ruckenstein (2012) report the diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease (MD) is based on the presence of vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus and aural fullness. The authors prospectively evaluated 224 patients with MD,  31 had bilateral disease. They report the average age of onset for their unilateral MD patients was 46.6 years (+/- 12.5 years) and for their patients with bilateral MD, the average age of onset was 39.9 years (+/- 13.8 years), yielding a statistically significant difference in the age at onset for the two groups (unilateral vs. bilateral MD). However, the exact diagnostic criteria for unilateral and bilateral MD is variable and the etiology remains unknown.  Of note, the co-morbidity of MD and migraine is historically reported to range from 22 to 56 percent.  However, Clemmens and Ruckenstein report that with respect to their patients with unilateral MD, only 10 percent report a history of migraines, while 41% of their patients with bilateral MD indicated a history of migraine. With regard to a family history of MD, only 4 percent of the patients with unilateral, and 28 percent of the patients with bilateral, Meniere's Disease reported a positive family history of MD. The authors report that in typical bilateral MD cases, the second ear may present with MD many years (ranging from 0 to 30 years) after the first ear.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Clemmens C, Ruckenstein M. (2012) Characteristics of Patients With Unilateral and Bilateral Meniere’s Disease. Otology & Neurotology 33(7):1266-1269.

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