Intratympanic Dexamethasone for Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss After Failure of Systemic Therapy

Vanderbilt University Medical Center/The Otology Group of Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.
The Laryngoscope (Impact Factor: 2.03). 02/2007; 117(1):3-15. DOI: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000245058.11866.15
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intratympanic steroids are increasingly used in the treatment of inner ear disorders, especially in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) who have failed systemic therapy. We reviewed our experience with intratympanic steroids in the treatment of patients with sudden SNHL to determine overall success, morbidity, and prognostic factors.
Intratympanic steroids have minimal morbidity and the potential to have a positive effect on hearing recovery in patients with sudden SNHL who have failed systemic therapy.
The authors conducted a retrospective review.
Patients presenting with sudden SNHL defined as a rapid decline in hearing over 3 days or less affecting 3 or more frequencies by 30 dB or greater who underwent intratympanic steroids therapy (24 mg/mL dexamethasone) were reviewed. Excluded were patients with Meniere disease, retrocochlear disease, autoimmune HL, trauma, fluctuating HL, radiation-induced HL, noise-induced HL, or any other identifiable etiology for sudden HL. Patients who showed signs of fluctuation of hearing after injection were excluded. Pretreatment and posttreatment audiometric evaluations including pure-tone average (PTA) and speech reception threshold (SRT) were analyzed. Patient variables as they related to recovery were studied and included patient age, time to onset of therapy, status of the contralateral ear, presence of diabetes, severity of HL, and presence of associated symptoms (tinnitus, vertigo). A 20-dB gain in PTA or a 20% improvement in SDS was considered significant.
: Forty patients fit the criteria for inclusion in the study. The mean age of the patients was 54.8 years with a range from 17 to 84 years of age. Overall, 40% (n = 16) showed any improvement in PTA or SDS. Fourteen (35%) men and 26 (65%) women were included. Using the criteria of 20-dB improvement in PTA or 20% improvement in SDS for success, 27.5% (n = 11) showed improvement. The mean number of days from onset of symptoms to intratympanic therapy was 40 days with a range of 7 days to 310 days. A statistically significant difference was noted in those patients who received earlier injection (P = .0008, rank sum test). No patient receiving intratympanic dexamethasone after 36 days recovered hearing using 20-dB PTA decrease or a 20% increase in discrimination as criteria for recovery. Twelve percent (n = 5) of patients in the study had diabetes with 20% recovering after intratympanic dexamethasone (not significantly different from nondiabetics at 28.6%, Fisher exact test, P = 1.0). Comparison to other studies that used differing steroid type, concentration, dosing schedule, inclusion criteria, and criteria for success revealed, in many instances, a similar overall recovery rate.
Difficulty in proving efficacy of a single modality is present in all studies on SNHL secondary to multiple treatment protocols, variable rates of recovery, and a high rate of spontaneous recovery. Forty percent of patients showed some improvement in SDS or PTA after treatment failure. When criteria of 20-dB PTA or 20% is considered to define improvement, the recovery rate was 27.5%. Modest improvement is seen with the current protocol of a single intratympanic steroid injection of 24 mg/mL dexamethasone in patients who failed systemic therapy. Dramatic hearing recovery in treatment failures was rarely encountered. No patient showed significant benefit from intratympanic steroids after 36 days when using this protocol for idiopathic sudden SNHL. If patients injected after 6 weeks are excluded from the study, the improvement rate increases from 26.9% to 39.3%. Earlier intratympanic injection had a significant impact on hearing recovery, although with any therapeutic intervention for sudden SNHL, early success may be attributed to natural history. If we further exclude seven patients treated with intratympanic steroids within 2 weeks of the onset of symptoms (i.e., study only those patients treated with intratympanic dexamethasone between 2 and 6 weeks after onset of symptoms), still, 26% improved by 20 dB or 20% SDS. The recovery rates after initial systemic failure are higher than would be expected in this treatment failure group given our control group (9.1%) and literature review. These findings indicate a positive effect from steroid perfusion in this patient population.

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Available from: Seth M Cohen, Jul 28, 2015
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    • "Several clinical trials have shown that little recovery can be expected if the patient treatment begins more than 4–5 weeks after hearing loss onset (Mattox and Simmons, 1977; Haynes et al., 2007; Nosrati-Zarenoe et al., 2007; Rauch, 2008; Chen et al., 2010; Raymundo et al., 2010; Vlastarakos et al., in press; Stachler et al., 2012). Seldom is this time to treatment factored in a statistical analysis of outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: This review addresses the current status of steroid therapies for hearing and vestibular disorders and how certain misconceptions may be undermining the efficacy in restoring normal ear function, both experimentally and clinically. Specific misconceptions addressed are that steroid therapy is not effective, steroid-responsive hearing loss proves an underlying inflammatory problem in the ear, and steroids only have application to the hearing disorders listed below. Glucocorticoid therapy for hearing and balance disorders has been employed for over 60 years. It is recommended in cases of sudden hearing loss, Meniére's disease, immune-mediated hearing loss, and any vestibular dysfunction suspected of having an inflammatory etiology. The predominant steroids employed today are dexamethasone, prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone. Despite years of use, little is known of the steroid responsive mechanisms in the ear that are influenced by glucocorticoid therapy. Furthermore, meta-analyses and clinical study reviews occasionally question whether steroids offer any benefit at all. Foremost in the minds of clinicians is the immune suppression and anti-inflammatory functions of steroids because of their efficacy for autoimmune hearing loss. However, glucocorticoids have a strong binding affinity for the mineralocorticoid (aldosterone) and glucocorticoid receptors, both of which are prominent in the ear. Because the auditory and vestibular end organs require tightly regulated endolymph and perilymph fluids, this ion homeostasis role of the mineralocorticoid receptor cannot be overlooked in both normal and pathologic functions of the ear. The function of the glucocorticoid receptor is to provide anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic signals by mediating survival factors. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Anatomical Record Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology 11/2012; 295(11):1928-43. DOI:10.1002/ar.22576 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    • "The reported success rate is around 50 to 80%, whereas the spontaneous recovery rate is approximately 30 to 60% [8] [9] [10]. Despite high reported spontaneous recovery rates, the practical experience of many otologists suggest that, hearing recovery is poor in those patients who have failed systemic intravenous therapy [11] [12] [13]. Although the safety and efficacy of intratympanic steroids therapy (IST) have not been studied in a randomized clinical trial, there are many evidences to suggest that IST ISRN Otolaryngology improves treatment success by increasing intracochlear corticosteroid and reducing the incidence of toxic side effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose. The aim of this study is the investigation of the effectiveness of intratympanic steroids therapy (IST) in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) who had not responded to intravenous treatment, evaluating the overall hearing recovery and comparing the results with different variables. Materials and Methods. Our study consisted of 55 patients with refractory ISSHL who, at the end of 10 days of therapy with intravenous steroids, had puretone 4-frequency average (PTA) of worse than 30 dB. The patients received 0.5 mL of methylprednisolone by direct intratympanic injection. The procedure was carried out up to 7 times within a 20-days period. Statistical analysis was carried out. Results. Overall 29 patients (52.7%) showed improvement in PTA, 24 (43.8%) had no change in hearing, and 2 (3.5%) worsened. There was a significant statistical correlation between hearing recovery and time to onset of symptoms, severity of hearing loss and frequency of hearing loss. Conclusions. IST is an effective and safe therapy in sudden sensorineural hearing loss cases that are refractory to standard treatment. The earlier IST, the hearing losses less than 90 dB and the involvement of the low frequencies seem to influence positively the hearing recovery.
    02/2012; 2012:647271. DOI:10.5402/2012/647271
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    • "In keeping with these findings, our study adopted HBO therapy in association with two different routes of administration of steroids. Over the last few decades, several authors have underlined the efficacy of steroid therapy, reporting a success rate between 27.5% [18] and 87% [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The excellent tolerability of intratympanic (IT) steroid offers the possibility to use a high dose, which would appear to be more effective than intravenous (IV) steroid treatment, when both are associated with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. The purpose of the study was to assess for the first time the efficacy of the association of IT steroid and HBO therapy in patients presenting idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL), comparing this protocol with another consisting of IV steroid administration and HBO therapy. A total of 48 patients presenting ISSNHL were recruited. Patients were divided into two categories: the severe ISSNHL group with a pure-tone average (PTA) between 70 and 90 dB, and the profound ISSNHL group with a PTA >90 dB. The first protocol consisted of 10 days of HBO therapy together with IV methylprednisolone 1 mg/kg body weight for 7 days; the second protocol consisted of HBO therapy for 10 days, associated with an IT injection of prednisolone at a dose of 62.5 mg/ml, once a day for 3 consecutive days, performed 2 h before the HBO therapy. The overall success rate was superior in the group submitted to IT steroid and HBO therapy. Nevertheless, these clinical results were not statistically significant.
    Acta oto-laryngologica 01/2012; 132(5):475-81. DOI:10.3109/00016489.2011.647360 · 0.99 Impact Factor
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