Low frequency air-bone gap in Meniere's disease without middle ear pathology. A preliminary report

C. Muchnik, M. Hildesheimer, M. Rubinstein, I. K. Arenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The audiograms of some patients suffering from Meniere's disease show an unexplained conductive component, or air-bone gap (ABG), predominantly in the low frequencies. Neither the history nor physical findings support poor eustachian tube function, ossicular chain abnormalities, chronic ear disease, physical trauma, or otosclerosis as a cause of this audiometric finding. In the present study, 40 patients diagnosed as suffering from classical Meniere's disease were evaluated audiometrically. Thirteen (32.5%) of these patients demonstrated a low frequency ABG. An otologic evaluation was performed on each patient who exhibed the abnormal finding, but no middle ear pathology was discovered. An otherwise unexplained low frequency ABG in patients with Meniere's disease suggests the possibility of an 'inner ear' conductive hearing loss. This conductive component may result from endolymphatic hydrops or perilymphatic hypertension (i.e., an inner ear hyperpressure exerted against the medial surface of the stapedial footplate) rather than from middle ear pathology. 'Inner ear' conductive hearing loss is thought to be caused by an increase in inner ear volume (endolymphatic hydrops) and pressure (endolymphatic or perilymphatic hypertension), which dampens footplate mobility medially and which is directly related to a relative inner ear or labyrinthine hyperpressure. Since the footplate mobility is only dampened and not fixed, a stapedial reflex may still be elicited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Volume10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

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