Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2008 Mar;51(3):227-233.

Comparison of the Efficacy of Systemic and Intratympanic Steroid Treatment on Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss with Diabetes

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Wallace Memorial Baptist Hospital, Busan, Korea. curesaint@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: High dose systemic steroid therapy is currently the mainstay of the treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). However, it makes a glycemic control worse in patients with diabetes. Intratympanic steroid injection (ITSI) can result in reduced systemic steroid toxicity and higher perilymph steroid level selectively. The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy of ITSI (IT group) with that of systemic steroid (IV group) on SSNHL with diabetes. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: Thirty eight SSNHL patients who were diagnosed with diabetes were divided into the IV group (19 patients) and the IT group (19 patients). In the IV group, prednisolone was administrated intravenously for 7 days followed by tapered doses orally for 7 days. In the IT group, dexamethasone was administrated 4 times within a 2 week-period. Hearing outcome was assessed before and after treatment.
In the IV group, 10 patients (58.8%) showed an improvement in the pure tone audiogram (PTA), with a mean improvement of 17.6 dB (p=0.023). In the IT group, 16 patients (84.2%) showed improvement in the PTA, with the mean improvement of 25.1 dB (p=0.000). But there was no significant difference in hearing gain and the recovery rate between the two groups. And it is more difficult to control blood sugar in the IV group rather than in the IT group.
ITSI treatment is as effective as the systemic steroid treatment for SSNHL patients with diabetes and it can avoid a significant side effect of systemic steroids. So it could be considered as an initial treatment for the SSNHL patient with diabetes.


Sudden hearing loss; Diabetes; Intratympanic steroid injection
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