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The Impact of Intratympanic Steroid Dosage on Hearing Recovery in Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate how dexamethasone dosage impacts intratympanic steroid therapy (IST) for treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL).

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review.

METHODS: Inclusion criteria identified subjects who received IST between January 1, 2010 and June 1, 2020 for iSSNHL. Subjects with Meniere's disease, autoimmune inner ear disease, subjects who received injections of non-dexamethasone steroid formulations, and subjects with missing audiogram data were excluded. Subjects were stratified by dexamethasone dosage: low-dose (10 mg/ml) versus high-dose (24 mg/ml), time-to-treatment and oral corticosteroid use. Outcome measures included post-treatment improvement in 4-frequency pure tone average (4F-PTA [500, 1000, 2000,4000 Hz]), low- and high-frequency PTA (250-1000 Hz and 2000-8000 Hz, respectively).

RESULTS: Of the 55 included subjects (50.9% male, mean age 48.9 ± 16.4 years), 31 received high-dose while 24 received low-dose injections. 90.9% of subjects were treated with oral steroids prior to or during IST. No significant differences in hearing outcomes were observed between low- and high-dose cohorts or when stratifying by oral steroid use. Time-to-treatment analysis comparing ≤1 month (67.3%) versus >1 month (32.7%) groups demonstrated a significant improvement in post-treatment 4F-PTA ( P  = .01) in the ≤1 month group.

CONCLUSIONS: Hearing recovery was not significantly different between the 10 mg/ml versus 24 mg/ml doses of intratympanic dexamethasone, suggesting that steroid dose may not impact the efficacy of IST. A shorter time-to-treatment was observed to be favorable for hearing improvement.

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