Intestinal permeability and Ménière's disease

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Purpose: Ménière disease (MD) is a multifactorial chronic disabling condition characterized by episodic vertigo, ear fullness, and hearing loss. MD patients often complain of aspecific gastrointestinal symptoms associated with autonomic dysregulation, frequently outweighed by the otological manifestations. Dietary modifications have been reported to improve the typical MD symptoms in some cases. Our purpose was to test the urinary levels of lactulose and mannitol (double sugar test) and the fecal calprotectin, both markers of altered intestinal permeability, in subjects with definite MD in an active and inactive stage. Materials and methods: Twenty-six with definite unilateral MD were studied: 14 patients were symptomatic for at least 3. months with moderate to severe vertigo spells and a functional level ≥. 4; 12 patients had been asymptomatic (no vertigo spells) for at least 3. months and had a functional level = 1 at the time of testing. Twenty healthy volunteers were recruited as "control group". Results: Lactulose and mannitol absorption was significantly increased in the symptomatic M patients compared to the asymptomatic group (p. <. 0.02 and p. <. 0.004, respectively) and to the controls. FC were also higher than normal only in the symptomatic group. (p. <. 0.01). Conclusions: An altered intestinal permeability, according to the two assays, was found only in symptomatic MD patients. The rationale for a possible relationship between MD and intestinal permeability is forwarded. The double-sugar test and FC quantification might be implemented in the MD diagnostic workup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-156
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Double sugar test
  • Fecal calprotectin
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Lactulose
  • Mannitol
  • Ménière

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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