Use of the medicinal leech in the treatment of ear diseases

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1992;54(1):1-4. doi: 10.1159/000278932.


Medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) and the native secretion of their salivary glands diluted with saline (5 times) were successfully used for the treatment of some ear diseases: tinnitus caused by inner-ear affections, acute external otitis and chronic otitis media. The effect of diluted leech saliva injected into the region of the mastoid process by microelectrophoresis was 25-30% lower than that of the medicinal leeches.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Ear Canal / microbiology
  • Hearing Loss, Conductive / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / complications
  • Humans
  • Leeches*
  • Otitis Externa / therapy*
  • Otitis Media / therapy*
  • Saliva*
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Tinnitus / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome