European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 272, Issue 7, pp 1659–1666 | Cite as

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as salvage treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective controlled study

  • M. Pezzoli
  • M. Magnano
  • L. Maffi
  • L. Pezzoli
  • P. Marcato
  • M. Orione
  • D. Cupi
  • G. Bongioannini


The most commonly used treatment for sensorineural sudden hearing loss (SSHL) in clinical practice is the administration of steroids; however, a favorable result is not always obtained. We studied 58 patients who failed to recover after primary treatment with IV steroids, 44 of these met our inclusion criteria (mean age 50.7, 27 males, range 30–74). We treated 23 patients (mean age 47.3, 16 males, age range 22–74) with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) (2.5 ATA for 60 min for 15 treatments), while 21 (mean age 54.5, 11 males, age range 22–71) patients refused to be treated and served as a non-randomized control group. Patients treated with HBO had a mean improvement of 15.6 dB (SD ± 15.3), with 1 of them completely healed, 5 with a good recovery, 10 with a fair recovery and 7 unchanged. Patients who were not treated had a spontaneous mean improvement of 5.0 dB (SD ± 11.4) with 3 patients with a good recovery, 1 patient with a fair recovery and 17 patients unchanged. Mean improvement was significantly better in patients treated with HBO compared to controls (p = 0.0133). Patients with worst hearing had the greater degree of improvement whether or not they were treated in the first 10 days after the onset of the hearing loss or between 11 and 30 days. In conclusion, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can lead to significant improvement of pure tone hearing thresholds in patients with SSHL who failed primary corticosteroid treatment and are within 4 weeks of the onset of deafness.


Sudden deafness Sudden sensorineural hearing loss Hyperbaric oxygen treatment Salvage treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pezzoli
    • 1
  • M. Magnano
    • 2
  • L. Maffi
    • 3
  • L. Pezzoli
    • 4
  • P. Marcato
    • 1
  • M. Orione
    • 1
  • D. Cupi
    • 1
  • G. Bongioannini
    • 1
  1. 1.ENT DepartmentHospital Mauriziano “Umberto I”TurinItaly
  2. 2.ENT DepartmentHospital “E Agnelli”PineroloItaly
  3. 3.Centro di Ossigenoterapia Iperbarica OTIPTurinItaly
  4. 4.LondonUK

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