The protective roles of alpha-lipoic acid in the rat model of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 4834bp deletion in inner ear were investigated. Forty female Wistar rats at 4 weeks of age were divided into four groups: group A (D-galactose group, n=10), group B (D-galactose+alpha-lipoic acid group, n=10), group C (alpha-lipoic acid group, n=10), and group D (control group, n=10). Auditory brainstem response (ABR) was used to detect the hearing threshold. Colorimetry was used to analyze activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA). The percentage of mtDNA4834bp deletion in inner ear was identified by real-time PCR. There was no significant difference in ABR threshold shift among all groups. The percentage of mtDNA4834bp deletion in group A was higher than that in other groups, but there was no significant difference in percentage of mtDNA4834bp deletion among groups B, C, and D. The activity of SOD in group A was lower than that in other groups. The concentration of MDA in group A was higher than that in other groups. It was concluded that there was no significant hearing loss when the percentage of mtDNA4834bp deletion was lower than 12.5%. Alpha-lipoic acid could prevent the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced mtDNA4834bp deletion in inner ear of rats.