OBJECTIVES: Study the impact of transtympanic gentamicin on patients with unilateral Menieretextquoterights syndrome. Partial chemical labyrinthectomy is a relatively recent concept for the treatment of Menieretextquoterights syndrome. It uses the ototoxic effect of gentamicin to reduce the symptom of vertigo and maintain cochlear function.
STUDY DESIGN: A prospective study using transtympanic gentamicin was begun in January 1994. Patients selected had failed medical therapy, but were not incapacitated. Patients had preinjection audiometric and electronystagmography data. Most had an imaging study. All had one injection, about half had more than one. Patients were seen 1 month after therapy and repeat studies were obtained. Repeat injection was performed if indicated. Follow-up from the chart or by telephone was obtained. Data were tabulated using the 1995 American Academy of Otologaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery guidelines.
RESULTS: Through December 1996 43 patients with unilateral Menieretextquoterights syndrome were treated. The pretherapy function level was 3 through 5. After therapy the function level was 1 or 2. There was almost no change in cochlear function and no patient became deaf. Many patients had mild ataxia or dysequilibrium during the first 2 weeks following therapy. Most patients showed some decrease in labyrinthine function measured on electronystagmography. No attempt was made to ablate labyrinthine function. Seventeen of 18 patients had a vertigo index in the class A or B category after 2 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Transtympanic gentamicin has become the treatment of choice for patients who fail medical therapy for Menieretextquoterights syndrome at the authorstextquoteright institution.