This was a Belgian retrospective study of seven patients with Ménière’s disease who underwent cochlear implantation. All patients had bilateral severe to profound hearing loss and all met AAO-HNS criteria for Ménière’s disease. Follow-up for patients ranged from six months to two years. In terms of hearing outcomes there was a statistically significant improvement in hearing post cochlear implantation and in speech recognition. The mean improvement in speech recognition in noise is reported as 47%. In terms of vestibular outcomes, the authors report that four out of the seven patients had no vertigo symptoms post-implantation, but of these four patients only one patient had vertigo symptoms pre-implantation. Indeed, one patient actually had new onset of vertigo post-implantation. The authors also used the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) to measure quality of life in cochlear implantation patients (using six domains). The mean NCIQ score was 48.3% post-implantation, which is considered satisfactory, but it is not clear how far after implantation these scores were obtained. This is lower than NCIQ scores reported in other patients after implantation, and the authors postulate this may be due to the general negative effect that Ménière’s disease has on overall quality of life. Although there is proven improvement in hearing and quality of life post-cochlear implantation in Ménière’s disease, there does not seem to be any clear improvement in vertigo symptoms.

Is cochlear implantation an effective treatment for Ménière’s disease?
Vermeire K, Van Yper L, De Vel E, Dhooge I.
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Sunil Sharma

Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK.

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