Effect of prostaglandin E1 on idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a double-blinded clinical study

Otol Neurotol. 2002 Sep;23(5):665-8. doi: 10.1097/00129492-200209000-00011.


Objective and study design: The authors conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial for the purpose of elucidating the effects of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) on idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Setting and patients: With the approval of the institute ethics committee, a total of 57 consecutive patients with diagnoses of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss were included in the study. The patients in the PGE1 group received continuous infusion containing 60 microg PGE1 and 100 mg hydrocortisone for 7 days, and the patients in the placebo group were treated with continuous infusion containing an inactive placebo and 100 mg hydrocortisone.

Results: No significant differences were observed in the improvements of pure-tone average and subjective symptoms between the PGE1 and the placebo groups. However, the hearing improvement at high frequencies (4 kHz and 8 kHz) was significantly higher in the PGE1 group than in the placebo group, especially in the patients with severe tinnitus.

Conclusions: These results failed to prove a beneficial effect of PGE1 in the treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Further studies will be needed to clarify the pharmacologic actions of PGE1 in the cochlea.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alprostadil / administration & dosage
  • Alprostadil / pharmacology
  • Alprostadil / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Cochlea / blood supply
  • Cochlea / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tinnitus / complications
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Alprostadil
  • Hydrocortisone