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What is the efficacy of gentamicin on the incidence of vertigo attacks and hearing in patients with Meniere's disease compared with steroids? A meta-analysis

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To compare the efficacy of gentamicin and steroids in patients with Meniere's disease (MD).


The study protocol was structured in accordance with the Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcome (PICO) framework. We used “Endnote” (Thomson ResearchSoft; Stanford, Connecticut, the United States) to retrieve database documents. A systematic literature search of Web of Science and PubMed Database through May 2020 was conducted using specific search terms. Inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria, vertigo improvement, and exact hearing changes were defined. Review Manager 5.3 (Cochrane) was used for data analysis.


A total of 80 articles were searched from Web of Science and 23 articles were searched from PubMed database. After further reviewing the specific points of the inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria, 9 papers were finally selected. Intratympanic gentamicin (ITG) was superior to intratympanic steroid (ITS) in reducing the number of vertigo attacks (odds ratio (OR) 3.08, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [2.05–3.65]), probability (P) < 0.01). As for hearing improvement, we did the analysis twice. With all the studies included, the odds of hearing improvement (by “x”) was 0.31 among patients receiving gentamicin compared to those treated by steroids (OR 0.31, 95% CI [0.16–0.61]). But after removing one study with outlying results from the analysis, this effect disappeared. Hearing loss of ITG and ITS was not statistically significant (P = 0.29).


ITG is superior to ITS in reducing the number of vertigo attacks in the treatment of MD (P < 0.01); the impact on hearing is more heterogeneous in the studies. Overall, there was no clear difference between ITG and ITS on hearing improvement and on hearing loss.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Authors and Affiliations



MLJ, ZMZ, and CLZ: conceived and designed the study; MLJ and ZMZ: selected the articles and extracted the data; MLJ and ZMZ: analyzed the data; MLJ, ZMZ, and CLZ: wrote the first draft of the manuscript, interpreted the data and wrote the final version. All authors read and met the ICMJE criteria for authorship and agree with the results and conclusions of this article.

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Correspondence to Chuanliang Zhao.

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Jiang, M., Zhang, Z. & Zhao, C. What is the efficacy of gentamicin on the incidence of vertigo attacks and hearing in patients with Meniere's disease compared with steroids? A meta-analysis. J Neurol 268, 3717–3727 (2021).

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