BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Transtympanic Micropressure Applications as a Treatment of Ménière's Disease


Transtympanic micropressure treatment has been proposed as an alternative treatment for Meniere disease. This treatment involves use of a handheld device (e.g. Meniett®) that delivers air pressure pulses to the ear. Symptoms of Ménière's disease include episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, varying levels of hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness/pressure in the ear. Conservative therapy includes a low sodium diet and diuretics to reduce fluid accumulation, and pharmacologic therapy to reduce vestibular symptoms.

Use of the transtympanic micropressure device consists of two phases. During the first phase, a conventional ventilation tube is surgically placed in the eardrum of the ear to be treated. During the second phase, the individual is instructed to place an ear-cuff in the external ear canal to minimize leakage to the external environment. The device is then used for 5-minute sessions that are self-administered three times a day in the home setting. Treatment is continued for as long as the individual is having symptoms.




Evidence for transtympanic micropressure therapy as a treatment for Ménière's disease includes randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. The systematic reviews of the trials revealed that micropressure therapy does not result in better improvement of vertigo than placebo. The evidence is satisfactory to determine qualitatively that the technology is not likely to improve the net health outcome.


Ahsan, S., Standring, R. & Wang, Y. (2015). Systematic review and meta-analysis of Meniett therapy for Meniere’s disease. The Laryngoscope, 125. (Level 4 evidence)

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. (2016, March). Position statement: Micropressure therapy. Retrieved September 8, 2016 from 

BlueCross BlueShield Association. Evidence Positioning System. (3:2019). Transtympanic micropressure applications as a treatment of Meniere disease (1.01.23). Retrieved July 5, 2019 from  (17 articles and/or guidelines reviewed)

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). (2012, April). Micropressure therapy for refractory Ménière's disease. NICE interventional procedure guidance 426. Retrieved March 7, 2014 from

Russo, F., Nguyen, Y., De Seta, D., Bouccara, D., Sterkers, O., Ferrary, E., & Bernardeschi, D. (2017). Meniett device in Meniere disease: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. Laryngoscope, 127 (2), 470-475. Abstract retrieved July 5, 2019 from PubMed database.

Syed, M. I., Rutka, J. A., Hendry, J. & Browning, G. G. (2015). Positive pressure therapy for Meniere’s syndrome/disease with a Meniett device: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Clinical Otolaryngology, 40 (3), 197-207. Abstract retrieved September 8, 2016 from PubMed database.

U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (1999, December). Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Premarket notification database. K991562. Retrieved August 12, 2011 from

Van Sonsbeek, S., Pullens, B., & van Benthem, P. (2015). Positive pressure therapy for Meniere’s disease or syndrome. Cochrane Database Systems Review, CD008419. Abstract retrieved November 2, 2015 from PubMed database.

Zhang, S. L., Leng, Y., Liu, B., Shi, H., Lu, M., & Kong, W. J. (2016). Meniett therapy for Ménière's disease: An updated meta-analysis. Otology & Neurotology, 37 (3), 290-298. Abstract retrieved September 8, 2016 from PubMed database.


MOST RECENT REVIEW DATE:  8/8/2019         


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