a1 Otolaryngology Unit, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Introduction: Ménière's disease is a diagnosis requiring expert clinical judgment. There are several differences between the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery diagnostic guidelines and Prosper Ménière's original description of the disease.
Methods: Six hundred and fifty patients attending a specialist balance clinic had their clinical profiles fully analysed according to each set of diagnostic criteria.
Results: Application of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery guidelines resulted in the diagnosis of three times more patients than did use of Ménière's diagnostic criteria. Treatment options for patients in both groups were similar. It is unlikely that the application of different diagnostic criteria would have an effect on the treatment of individual patients.
Discussion: The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery guidelines are more sensitive and less specific in diagnosing Ménière's disease than Prosper Ménière's original description. Standardised criteria should be applied across published series, in order to make results accurate, comparable and useful in the long term. We would recommend the introduction of a stricter diagnostic category for definite Ménière's disease.
(Accepted July 09 2007)
(Online publication October 12 2007)
Ms E Stapleton takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.
Competing interests: None declared