Dexamethasone inner ear perfusion by intratympanic injection in unilateral Ménière's disease: a two-year prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial

Marco Antonio Garduño-Anaya, Heloísa Couthino De Toledo, Ramón Hinojosa-González, Carlo Pane-Pianese, Luis Camilo Ríos-Castañeda
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2005, 133 (2): 285-94

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of dexamethasone inner ear perfusion by intratympanic injection in hearing loss, tinnitus, aural fullness, and vertigo in the treatment of unilateral Ménière's disease and compare it with the control group.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study with 2-year follow-up comparing changes secondary to dexamethasone inner ear perfusion versus placebo consisting of saline solution.

PATIENTS: Twenty-two patients having definite Ménière's disease as outlined by the 1995 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium. All the patients were older than 18 years of age and were not receiving any other form of treatment with steroids for their Ménière's disease.

METHOD: Five consecutive daily intratympanic injections of dexamethasone or placebo to the involved ear.

RESULTS: In the dexamethasone group at 2-year follow-up, complete control of vertigo (class A) was achieved in 9 of 11 patients (82%) and substantial control of vertigo (class B) in the remaining 2 patients (18%.) In the control group only 7 of 11 patients (64%) finished the 2-year follow-up because in the other 4 patients (36%) we had to give another treatment for the continuing vertigo and thus they were classified as failure (class F.) From the 7 patients who have finished the follow-up of 2 years in the control group, 4 patients (57%) achieved class A, 2 patients (29%) achieved class C, and 1 patient (14%) class F.

CONCLUSIONS: Dexamethasone (4 mg/mL) inner ear perfusion in a group of patients with unilateral Ménière's disease (Shea's stage III) showed 82% of complete control of vertigo over placebo (57%). There was also a subjective improvement in tinnitus (48%), hearing loss (35%), and aural fullness (48%) in the dexamethasone group compared with 20%, 10%, and 20% respectively in the control group.

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