Intratympanic dexamethasone for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: clinical and laboratory evaluation

Otol Neurotol. 2001 Jan;22(1):18-23. doi: 10.1097/00129492-200101000-00005.


Objective: To discuss the value of intratympanic dexamethasone (IT-DEX) perfusion for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), clinically and in an animal model.

Study design: Retrospective case review of 10 patients with SSNHL treated with IT-DEX. The findings are correlated with this institution's previous findings from a study of IT-DEX in guinea pigs.

Setting: Ambulatory tertiary otologic referral center.

Patients: Sequential patients with SSNHL who chose IT-DEX treatment.

Interventions: Dexamethasone 0.5 mg was injected transtympanically and bathed the round window for 20 minutes. Animal study: 79 ears were randomized into five groups: control, IT-DEX versus intravenous (IV)-DEX, IT-DEX with histamine, IT-DEX with hyaluronic acid, and IT-DEX with dimethylsulfoxide.

Main outcome measures: Clinical study: postprocedure audiometry. Animal study: perilymph steroid concentration.

Results: IT-DEX results in significant hearing improvement and in significantly higher perilymph concentration of steroid than IV-DEX.

Conclusions: IT-DEX is an appropriate treatment option for the treatment of SSNHL. Further study of dosages and frequency of administration is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / drug therapy*
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Perception / physiology
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dexamethasone