The Peaked Audiometric Configuration in Meniere's Disease Disease Related? Research Article
Research Article  |   August 1999
The Peaked Audiometric Configuration in Meniere's Disease
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dennis T. Ries
    University of Minnesota and Minnesota Ear, Head, and Neck Clinic Minneapolis
  • Michelle Rickert
    University of Minnesota and Minnesota Ear, Head, and Neck Clinic Minneapolis
  • Robert S. Schlauch
    University of Minnesota Minneapolis
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Balance & Balance Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 1999
The Peaked Audiometric Configuration in Meniere's Disease
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 829-843. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.829
History: Received August 31, 1998 , Accepted March 12, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 829-843. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.829
History: Received August 31, 1998; Accepted March 12, 1999

A retrospective analysis of audiograms was completed for persons from 3 different patient groups. These 3 groups were (1) persons with unilateral Meniere's disease, (2) persons with unilateral acoustic tumor, and (3) persons from the general clinical population of an audiology clinic in a major medical center. As Paparella, McDermott, Luiz, and de Sousa (1982)  also report, the most common audiometric configuration in the Meniere's disease group was peaked, a condition in which poorer hearing is reported in the low and high frequencies, and an island of better hearing sensitivity occurs at either 1.0 or 2.0 kHz. Some of the peaked audiograms from persons in our Meniere's disease group could be a result of a low-frequency hearing loss caused by Meniere's disease combined with a high-frequency hearing loss due to aging or other environmental factors. However, 27% (13/48) of the peaked audiograms in ears with Meniere's disease were found in persons with no hearing loss in the high frequencies of their nondiseased ear. Thus, the peaked audiometric configuration is associated with Meniere's disease, as suggested by research results from animals with experimentally induced endolymphatic hydrops. Peaked audiometric configurations were also observed in roughly 9% of the general clinical population and in 12.5% of ears of persons with acoustic tumors. A rule—based on the audiometric configurations that maximized identification of patients with Meniere's disease—using the general clinical population as a control did not fare as well when the tumor group was used as a control. This finding provides further evidence that peaked audiograms, although common to Meniere's disease, are not pathognomonic of this disease. Furthermore, these results indicate that the diagnosis of Meniere's disease from audiometric profiles is risky, at best.

Acknowledgments
We thank Robert H. Margolis, PhD, for allowing us access to the Fairview-University of Minnesota Hospital Department of Otolaryngology's patient files for the purpose of collecting Meniere's disease, general clinical population, and tumor-group data. We also thank Michael M. Paparella, MD, for allowing us to access the Minnesota Ear, Head, and Neck Clinic's patient files for the purpose of collecting Meniere's disease data. This research was supported by NIH-NICD R29 DC01542.
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