- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ménière's disease

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Aural or auditory vertigo. A condition characterised by recurrent and generally progressive group of symptoms that includes sensorineural hearing loss, dizziness frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting, ringing in the ears, a sensation of fullness or pressure in the ears, and sometimes nystagmus. It is associated with distension of the endolymphatic system and degenerative changes of the sensory elements of the internal ear.

It occurs principally between the ages of 40 and 60 years, but younger age groups may also be affected, and is more common in males. In general the prognosis is good. Attacks are never fatal. Due to dysfunction of the endolymphatic system of the inner ear. Most cases are sporadic but a severe form which is associated with migraine is familial.

Ménière described this condition in a paper read before the French Academy of Medicine in 1861.


  • P. Ménière:
    Sur une forme particulière de surdité grave dépendant d'une lésion de l'oreille interne.
    Gazette médicale de Paris, 1861, 16: 29.
  • P. Ménière:
    Maladie de l’oreille interne ofrant les symptômes de congestion cérébrale apoplectiforme.
    Gazette médicale de Paris, 3 s, 1861, 16: 88.
  • P. Ménière:
    Mémoire sur des lésions de l'oreille interne donnant lieu à des symptômes de congestion cérébrale apoplectiforme.
    Gazette médicale de Paris, 1861, 88-89, 239-240, 379-380, 597-601.
    First appeared in summary form in Bulletin de l’Académie impériale de médecin, 1860-61; 26: 241.
  • J. M. Charcot:
    Vertiges ab aure laesa (maladie de Menière).
    Gazette des hôpitaux, Paris, 1874, 47: 73-74.
    Charcot completed the description of the syndrome first described by Menière.
  • Walter Edward Dandy (1886-1946):
    Ménière's disease, its diagnosis and a method of treatment.
    Chicago, American Medical Association, 1928. 26 pages.
    Reprinted from the Archives of Surgery, June, 1928, 16: 1127-1152.
    Dandy's operation for relief of Ménière's disease.
  • Charles Skinner Hallpike (1900-1979) and Sir Hugh William Bell Cairns (1896-1952):
    Observations on the pathology of ménière's syndrome.
    Hallpike and Cairns were first to desribe the characteristic histological changes in Ménière's disease. Also published in The Journal of Laryngology and Otology, London, 1938, 53: 625-655.

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