[Skip to Navigation]
August 1995

Patients With Meniere's Disease Possess IgE Reacting With Herpes Family Viruses

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Basic and Applied Immunology, Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(8):861-864. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890080029005

Objective:  To determine if patients with Meniere's disease possess serum IgE specific for herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1, HSV type 2, Epstein-Barr virus, and/or cytomegalovirus.

Design:  A modified radioallergosorbent test method was employed wherein each serum sample was processed with recombinant protein A to remove competing non-IgE antibodies, and HSV-1, HSV-2, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr viral proteins were used as potential antigens.

Patients:  Ten patients with long-standing active Meniere's disease were tested. Ten age- and gender-matched patients with allergic rhinitis but without Meniere's disease served as control subjects.

Results:  IgE specific for HSV-1, HSV-2, Epstein-Barr virus, and/or cytomegalovirus was found in the serum sample of nine of 10 patients with Meniere's disease but only in four of 10 control serum samples. Of the positive subjects tested, seven patients with Meniere's disease were positive for IgE for at least three viruses compared with only two control subjects.

Conclusions:  (1) Most patients with Meniere's disease possess virus-specific IgE in their serum samples; (2) four viruses of the herpes family are capable of inducing such IgE-mediated sensitization; and (3) latent virus-specific, IgE-mediated inflammation may be an important factor in the initiation and/or sustenance of Meniere's disease.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:861-864)

Add or change institution