Objective: To evaluate the value of different variables of the clinical history, auditory and vestibular tests and handicap measurements to define intractable or disabling Meniere's disease. Methods: This is a prospective study with 212 patients of which 155 were treated with intratympanic gentamicin and considered to be suffering a medically intractable Meniere's disease. Age and sex adjustments were performed with the 11 variables selected. Discriminant analysis was performed either using the aforementioned variables or following the stepwise method. Results: Different variables needed to be sex and/or age adjusted and both data were included in the discriminant function. Two different mathematical formulas were obtained and four models were analyzed. With the model selected, diagnostic accuracy is 77.7%, sensitivity is 94.9% and specificity is 52.8%. Conclusion: After discriminant analysis we found that the most informative variables were the number of vertigo spells, the speech discrimination score, the time constant of the VOR and a measure of handicap, the "dizziness index". (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.