Local vs Systemic Use of Steroids for Sudden Deafness with Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Ear Nose Throat J. 2023 Apr 11;1455613231170090. doi: 10.1177/01455613231170090. Online ahead of print.


Background: Diabetes is associated with a risk of idiopathic sudden deafness. The main treatment of diabetic sudden deafness is systemic and topical application of steroids. Topical steroid therapy reduces systemic adverse reactions compared with systemic therapy.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis design on the improvement value and recovery rate of pure tone mean hearing threshold (PTA).To investigate whether there is difference between local and systemic steroid treatment as the initial treatment for sudden deafness patients with diabetes.

Methods: We searched databases from publication date to October 1, 2022 including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, web of science, CNKI, Wan fang Database, China Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), and VIP information resource system. A systematic literature review was conducted on the efficacy and safety of local and systemic steroid therapy for diabetic sudden deafness. RevMan5.4 and stata14 software were used for Meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 23 studies were included in this study, covering 1777 patients, including 885 cases in the observation group (local steroid group) and 894 cases in the control group (systemic steroid group). Meta-analysis showed that there was a significant difference in the total effective rate of local and systemic steroid treatment for diabetic sudden deafness between groups (RR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.11-1.22, P < 0.05). The effective rate in the observation group was higher than that in the control group. For the improvement of PTA, the difference between groups was statistically significant (RR = 6.60, 95% CI = 3.07-10.14, P < 0.05). The improvement of PTA in the local steroid group was higher than that in the systemic steroid group. Subgroup analysis showed that there were significant differences between groups in hormones, drug administration, follow-up time and course of disease.

Conclusion: Topical steroid therapy is effective in the treatment of diabetic sudden deafness. Hormone methylprednisolone has high effective rate; the shorter the course of disease and the longer the follow-up time are, the higher the total effective rate will be. Tympanic injection is more effective than post-aural injection. Topical steroid injections are safer for hormonal side effect.

Keywords: ISSNHL; Meta-analysis; auricular acupoint injection; diabetes mellitus; effective rate; hormone; idiopathic sudden deafness; intratympanic injection; steroid.

Publication types

  • Review