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ISRN Otolaryngol. 2012 Feb 19;2012:647271. doi: 10.5402/2012/647271. Print 2012.

Intratympanic steroid treatment for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss after failure of intravenous therapy.

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Otologic Surgery Unit, Otorhinolaryngology Department ULSS 13, General Hospitals of Dolo and Mirano, Via Mariutto 76, 30035 Mirano, Italy.


Purpose. The aim of this study is the investigation of the effectiveness of intratympanic steroids therapy (IST) in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) who had not responded to intravenous treatment, evaluating the overall hearing recovery and comparing the results with different variables. Materials and Methods. Our study consisted of 55 patients with refractory ISSHL who, at the end of 10 days of therapy with intravenous steroids, had puretone 4-frequency average (PTA) of worse than 30 dB. The patients received 0.5 mL of methylprednisolone by direct intratympanic injection. The procedure was carried out up to 7 times within a 20-days period. Statistical analysis was carried out. Results. Overall 29 patients (52.7%) showed improvement in PTA, 24 (43.8%) had no change in hearing, and 2 (3.5%) worsened. There was a significant statistical correlation between hearing recovery and time to onset of symptoms, severity of hearing loss and frequency of hearing loss. Conclusions. IST is an effective and safe therapy in sudden sensorineural hearing loss cases that are refractory to standard treatment. The earlier IST, the hearing losses less than 90 dB and the involvement of the low frequencies seem to influence positively the hearing recovery.

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