Comparison of Intratympanic and Intravenous Dexamethasone Treatment on Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss with Diabetes

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of intratympanic administration of dexamethasone (IT-DEX) treatment on sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) patients with diabetes by comparing the results with intravenous administration of dexamethasone (IV-DEX) treatment.

Study Design:

Comparative study.


University hospital and affiliated hospital.


Ten sequential SSNHL patients with diabetes receiving IT-DEX and 21 sequential SSNHL patients with diabetes receiving IV-DEX. Patients with low tone hearing loss were excluded.


In the IT-DEX group, two methods were applied to deliver DEX (4 mg/ml): injection through a perforation made by laser-assisted myringotomy or through a tympanostomy tube. IT-DEX administration was performed on 8 sequential days. In the IV-DEX group, DEX was administrated intravenously starting from an amount of 8 mg/d followed by taped doses for 10 days.

Main Outcome Measures:

Preprocedure and postprocedure hearing levels and complications.


In the IT-DEX group, the average hearing level before the treatment was 79 dB. Overall, all 10 patients showed improvement of more than 10 dB in the pure-tone audiogram, with a mean improvement of 41 dB. Seven patients (70%) demonstrated successful results, and four recovered completely. In the IV-DEX group, 14 (67%) of the 21 patients showed improvement of more than 10 dB with a mean improvement of 25 dB. Thirteen patients (62%) demonstrated successful results. Free blood sugar during and after the IT-DEX treatment remained below the pretreatment levels, whereas four patients in the IV-DEX group demonstrated worsening of the hyperglycemia.


IT-DEX treatment is at least as effective as IV-DEX treatment for SSNHL patients with diabetes.

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