Hearing outcome does not depend on the interval of intratympanic steroid administration in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss


We studied the effect of intratympanic steroid administration with different intervals on hearing outcomes in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL). The subjects were 197 consecutive patients (197 ears) with ISSNHL (hearing level ≥40 dB, interval between onset and treatment ≤30 days). They received systemic administration of prednisolone (100 mg followed by tapered doses) combined with intratympanic injection of dexamethasone (4 mg/ml). Intratympanic injection was performed once a week for 4 weeks in 105 patients (long-interval group), or 4 times in 1 week in 92 patients (short-interval group). The hearing outcomes were evaluated at two points of time: 1 week from the start of treatment, and 1–2 months after the completion of treatment when the hearing level reached a plateau. There was no significant difference in the cure rate, marked-recovery rate, recovery rate, hearing gain, hearing level, or percent hearing improvement between the long- and short-interval groups at either point of time. Multiple regression analysis also showed that the final hearing level did not depend on the interval of intratympanic steroid injection. These results indicate that the hearing outcome of ISSNHL does not improve even if the interval of intratympanic injection is shortened. This implies that a lower total number of intratympanic steroid injections may be as effective as the present protocol.

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Correspondence to Hideaki Suzuki.

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The authors have no funding or financial relationships as to this work.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no funding, financial relationships or conflict of interests to disclose.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was not obtained from participants because the study was a retrospective review of patients’ clinical records and the information was anonymized and de-identified prior to analysis.

Additional information

Hideaki Suzuki and Hiroki Koizumi equally contributed to this work

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Suzuki, H., Koizumi, H., Ohkubo, J. et al. Hearing outcome does not depend on the interval of intratympanic steroid administration in idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 273, 3101–3107 (2016) doi:10.1007/s00405-016-3930-8

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  • Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss
  • Intratympanic steroid administration
  • Interval
  • Hearing outcome