Background: During the past years various drugs have been used for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) treatment including steroids that are shown to be beneficial. Directed delivery of high doses of steroids into the inner ear is suggested for its potential and known as intratympanic steroids therapy (IST). Despite the use of dexamethasone and methylprednisolone as the traditional treatments, there are still debates about the optimal dosage, preferred drug, and the route of administration.
Materials and Methods: We performed a randomized clinical trial study in which 50 patients suffering from SSNHL and resistant to standard therapy were employed. Each patient took 0.5 ml methylprednisolone (40 mg/mg) along with bicarbonate or dexamethasone (4 mg/mL) through direct intratympanic injection. This method was performed and scheduled once every 2 days for three times only for the dexamethasone receiving group. Hearing test was carried out and the results were analyzed according to a four-frequency (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 kHz) pure tone average (PTA) and Siegel's criteria.
Results: According to Siegel's criteria, three out of 25 (12%) dexamethasone receiving patients were healed in 1 and 4 (16%), 9 (32%) were respectively recovered in Siegel's criteria 2, 3, and 9 (32%) showed no recovery. In the group receiving methylprednisolone, recovery was found in 6 (24%), 8 (32%), 7 (28%) patients in the Siegel's criteria 1, 2, 3, respectively, and in 4 (16%) patients no recovery was recorded. In methylprednisolone group, hearing was significantly improved compared to the dexamethasone group (P < 0.05). The general hearing improvement rate was 84% in methylprednisolone receiving patients showing a significantly higher improvement than 64% in the dexamethasone group.
Conclusions: Topical intratympanic treatment with methylprednisolone is safe and an effective treatment approach for those SSNHL cases that are refractory to the common therapies by Dexamethasone.
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