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Auris Nasus Larynx. 2008 Jun;35(2):192-7. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

Prostaglandin E1 versus steroid in combination with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan.



We conducted a controlled retrospective analysis of patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL) in order to investigate the effect of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) plus hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in comparison with that of steroid plus HBO therapy.


One hundred and ninety-six consecutive patients with ISSNHL (hearing levels > or ==40dB; time from the onset of hearing loss to the start of treatment < or ==30 days) were enrolled. Ninety-five patients underwent PGE1 plus HBO therapy (PG group) and 101 underwent steroid administration plus HBO therapy (steroid group). Hearing recovery was evaluated by grade assessment and by the improvement in hearing compared to the unaffected contralateral ear.


The hearing levels after treatment were 52.2+/-3.0 and 47.5+/-2.8dB, the hearing gains were 31.3+/-2.2 and 27.2+/-2.3dB, the cure rates were 28.4% and 28.7%, the recovery rates were 54.7% and 53.5%, and the hearing improvement rates were 48.4+/-5.1% and 53.9+/-4.2% in the PG and steroid groups, respectively. There were no significant differences between the two groups.


We concluded that PGE1 and a steroid are equally effective in the treatment of ISSNHL when used together with HBO therapy. PGE1 plus HBO therapy can be one of the potential alternative treatments for ISSNHL, particularly in steroid-intolerant patients such as those with severe diabetes mellitus, an active peptic ulcer, or viral hepatitis.

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