Cisplatin is an effective chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of several types of malignant solid tumors but its clinical use is associated with ototoxicity. In the present study, we investigated the effect of selenium administration on lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde [MDA]) and cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in rats. Healthy wistar albino rats (n = 21) were randomly divided into 3 groups: control (C), cisplatin (Cis), cisplatin and selenium (Cis+Se). Cisplatin was administered for 3 days to Cis and Cis+Se groups. Cis+Se group received selenium 5 days before cisplatin injection and continued for 11 consecutive days. Hearing thresholds and lipid peroxidation (MDA) levels of the rats were recorded before injections and at the end of experimental protocol. The cochleas of animals were harvested for histologic and immunuhistochemical examinations. In biochemichal analyses, pretreatment with selenium prevented the elevation of MDA levels in Cis+Se group rats. Moreover, animals in Cis+Se group had better hearing threshold levels than animals in cis group. Samples obtained from the animals in Cis group revealed extensive loss of the normal microarchitecture of the organ of Corti. On the other hand, animals in Cis+Se group exhibited a preservation of the morphology of the organ of Corti and outer hair cells. In the immunohistochemical examinations of cochlear tissues stained with anti-caspase-3, a higher degree of immunopositivity was found in the Cis group. When Cis+Se group and Cis group were compared, significantly less immunopositivity occurred in the Cis+Se group (P < 0.05). Thus, it appears that pretreatment with selenium may reduce cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in rats.