The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Ear Fullness as a Symptom of Endolymphatic Hydrops in non-Ménière’s Patient


School of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine, Quebec, Canada


Montreal University Hospital Center (CHUM), Montreal, Canada


Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Montreal University Hospital Center (CHUM), Montreal, Canada

J Int Adv Otol 2017; 13: 379-384
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2017.4311
Read: 2288 Downloads: 877 Published: 03 September 2019


OBJECTIVE: 1) To determine if unexplained ear fullness might be a symptom of endolymphatic hydrops (EH) by using Electrocochleography (ECochG) SP/AP area and amplitude ratios. 2) To assess if individuals with unexplained ear fullness without vertigo differ significantly from individuals with ear fullness due to Ménière’s disease (MD).


MATERIALS and METHODS: In a case-control study in our tertiary care center, we evaluated 62 ears across 49 patients, including 18 normal healthy ears across 12 control patients, 26 ears with unexplained ear fullness across 20 patients (6 had bilateral symptoms of ear fullness), and 18 ears with definite MD across 17 patients (1 bilateral disease). Outcome measures were SP/AP amplitude and area ratio, hearing threshold, and air-bone gap.


RESULTS: The analysis of auditory thresholds revealed a significant group effect for air conduction [F(2,50)=49.627; p<0.001] and for bone conduction [F(2,50)=45.625; p<0.001]. We observed significant differences between MD (36.36±4.87) and control patients (19.85±2.55) (p=0.015) for amplitude ratio. Moreover, significant differences were noted between MD (5.32±1.06) and controls (1.36±0.07) (p=0.035) and between ear fullness (5.16±1.17) and controls (p=0.026) for the area ratio parameter. No significant correlation was observed between SP/AP area or amplitude ratios and air-bone gap at any of the tested frequencies. The amplitude ratio was not significantly different between the ear fullness and control groups (p=0.406). The area and amplitude ratios did not reveal significant differences between MD and ear fullness (p=1.00).


CONCLUSION: EH can be present even in the absence of vertigo and when patients report unexplained ear fullness. This study, to our knowledge, is the first to possibly allow early identification of cochlear EH in patients suffering from ear fullness without vertigo.



Cite this article as: Maheau M, Alhabib SF, Landry SP, Nader ME, Champoux F, Saliba I. Ear fullness as a Symptom of Endolymphatic Hydrops in non-Ménière’s Patient. J Int Adv Otol 2017; 13: 379-84.

EISSN 2148-3817