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December 1955

The Medical Treatment of Ménière's Disease

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.
From the Section of Otolaryngology and Rhinology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;62(6):573-578. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.03830060005002

In 1861 Prosper Ménière1 described a hitherto unrecognized symptom complex characterized by tinnitus, loss of hearing, and vertigo, the latter associated with nausea and sometimes with vomiting and followed by a syncopal attack with cold clammy sweat and weakness. His purpose was to separate this group of patients from the mass of dizzy or vertiginous patients who at that time were lumped together as having "apoplectiform cerebral convulsion."

Unfortunately, Ménière died the year after he described this symptom complex, and his medical descendants soon lost sight of his purpose and reevoked the old confusion by combining all types of vertigo, dizziness, and incoordination under the term "Ménière's symptom complex." However, as Crowe2 pointed out, the symptoms of Ménière's disease are so invariable that they must originate from a single definite cause and the disturbance, therefore, warrants the use of the term "disease."

The important role that Ménière ascribed

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