Potential benefits of salvage intratympanic dexamethasone injection in profound idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Aug;277(8):2219-2227. doi: 10.1007/s00405-020-05967-z. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


Purposes: To compare hearing recovery levels after initial treatment or salvage intratympanic dexamethasone injection (ITDI), and to find the prognostic factor on salvage ITDI therapy in profound ISSNHL.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 115 patients with profound ISSNHL. All patients were treated with combination or systemic steroid therapy as the initial treatment. Next, we used salvage ITDI therapy on patients who showed slight or no improvement according to Siegel's criteria. To find the prognostic factors for the effectiveness of salvage ITDI therapy, we analyzed clinical data, such as, age, sex, vertigo, symptom duration, diabetes, hypertension, initial PTA, pre-salvage PTA, and treatment methods, using multiple regression analyses.

Results: The rate of serviceable hearing recovery were 10.4% (12/115) in the initial-treatment group and 20.4% (21/103) in the salvage group. The difference was statistically significant (p = 0.041). Pre-salvage PTA, diabetes mellitus, and symptom duration were affective factors for the effectiveness of salvage ITDI therapy in profound ISSNHL refractory to initial treatment, with odds ratios of 1.169 (95% confidence interval, 1.088-1.256), 0.069 (95% confidence interval, 0.005-0.889), and 9.242 (95% confidence interval, 1.079-79.146).

Conclusions: Salvage therapy should be considered for profound ISSNHL, which is expected to result in poor prognosis or hearing recovery: ITSI therapy might be an effective treatment as salvage therapy.

Keywords: Hearing loss; Injection; Intratympanic; Prognosis; Salvage therapy; Sudden.

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Dexamethasone* / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / drug therapy
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden* / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sudden* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Injection, Intratympanic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone