Concepts and Diagnostic Criteria of Ménière’s Disease

  • Masaaki Kitahara


In 1861, Prosper Ménière [1] reported the gross pathological findings in a young girl who died after suffering from vertigo, tinnitus, and deafness. He found bloody exudate in her semicircular canals. Though some carelessness was noted in his reports on this case, it would not be amiss to give him great credit as the first physician to put to clinical use the new knowledge developed by physiologists in those days. In 1867, Adam Politzer[2] described his case as “Symptome der Ménière’ schen Erkrankungsform” or “Symptome der Ménièreschen Krankheitsform” in Archiev für Ohrenheilkunde. In 1902, Politzer[3] made the following comment on this disease: The term “Ménière’s disease,” which was originally applied to sudden deafness, was later used in a broader sense and was applied to various diseases of the ear and central nervous system running their course with attacks of dizziness. This generalization brought about a certain amount of confusion, so that we are now very often satisfied with the diagnosis Ménière’s disease, Ménière’s dizziness, and Ménière’s symptoms without taking into consideration the anatomical seat of the affection giving rise to the combination of symptoms. In his description we can learn what was the understanding of physicians on this disease in those days. In 1838, Hallpike and Cairns[4] from London and Yamakawa[5] from Osaka discovered independently the pathologic findings in definitive cases of this disease. Since then, many additional cases have been followed. In most cases, but not all, gross dilatation of the endolymphatic system without inflammatory changes was reported.


Hearing Loss Central Nervous System Involvement Autopsy Case Endolymphatic Hydrops Sudden Deafness 
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© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 1990

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  • Masaaki Kitahara

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