Inflammatory / infectious / autoimmune / systemic disorders

Menieres disease

Last author update: 1 October 2013
Last staff update: 13 May 2022

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PubMed Search: Menieres disease [title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Menieres disease. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/earmeniere.html. Accessed June 3rd, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Also called endolymphatic hydrops
  • Idiopathic disorder of inner ear associated with episodic attacks of vertigo, fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus and sensation of aural fullness
  • Incidence varies from 7.5 per 100,000 in France to 157 per 100,000 in England
  • 60% women, peaks in 40s to 60s but wide age range
  • Rarely occurs in children (J Laryngol Otol 2006;120:343)
  • Associated with HLA B8/DR3
  • May be due to accumulation of endolymph in membranous labyrinth, perhaps due to inadequate absorption by endolymphatic sac
  • Dietary modification, intermittent dehydration, diuretics, vasodilators in increase microcirculation of ear
  • 60 - 80% improve
  • Surgery includes shunting and decompression of endolymphatic sac (Laryngoscope 2005;115:1454), labyrinthectomy, sectioning of vestibular nerve
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Initially involves cochlear duct and saccule
  • Later entire endolymphatic system with dilation, rupture and collapse of membranous labyrinth with possible fistula
  • May have severe atrophic changes with loss of cochlear neurons
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Section through cochlea

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