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Increased intracranial tension and cochleovestibular symptoms: an observational clinical study



Meniere’s disease is thought to be pathophysiologically due to increased pressure in the endolymphatic spaces leading to distortion of the sensory elements. As the inner ear fluids are in direct and indirect contact with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it was hypothesized that changes in CSF hydrodynamics could affect inner ear fluid pressures.

Patients and Methods

This study was conducted on 150 patients presenting with benign increased intracranial tension diagnosed by Dandy’s criteria and by radiological data. All patients were subjected to a detailed vertigo questionnaire and underwent comprehensive clinical, audiological, and vestibular testing to detect any vestibular abnormalities.


Of the studied patients, 38 (25.3%) (34 females and four males) presented with audiovestibular symptoms: ear fullness and/or hearing loss, tinnitus, attacks of vertigo, and instability. Some patients reported atypical positional or motion-induced vertigo. A total of 13 patients presented with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Clinical head impulse test (HIT) was positive in 30 patients, abnormal caloric test results in 24 patients, and 12 had positive Dix–Hallpike test results. All patients with audiovestibular symptoms were previously treated with betahistine (24 mg, three times a day) with poor response. Patients with abnormal test results were shifted to acetazolamide+betahistine. Thirty patients had a dramatic response on both audiological and vestibular manifestations.


Changes in CSF pressure significantly affect inner ear fluids in some patients. Symptoms and tests may mimic Meniere’s disease, and we recommend evaluating patients with atypical Meniere’s disease (MD), especially early bilateral affection and/or poor response to conventional therapy, for increased intracranial tension (ICT). Further testing of other cochlea-vestibular functions in these patients is under way.


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Correspondence to Badr E. Mostafa MD.

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Mostafa, B.E., El-Sersy, H.A.A. & Hamid, T.A. Increased intracranial tension and cochleovestibular symptoms: an observational clinical study. Egypt J Otolaryngol 34, 191–193 (2018).

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  • crebrospinal fluid
  • intracranial tension
  • Meniere’s disease
  • vertigo