The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Intratympanic Drug Therapy with Steroids for Tinnitus Control: A Preliminary Report

Author(s): Abraham Shulman and Barbara Goldstein

Intratympanic drug therapy (ITDT) is a surgical technique of instilling medication into the middle ear to perfuse the inner ear in treating hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, and ear blockage, alone or in combination, in patients with a predominantly inner-ear site of lesion. This preliminary report of ITDT focuses on attempts at tinnitus control (TC). Between November 1997 and February 1999, 10 patients with severe tinnitus were treated with steroid medication and were last seen in February 2000. TC was established in 7 of these 10 patients (70%). The clinical diagnosis of a predominantly cochlear-type tinnitus was established in each patient by a correlation of the clinical history with a medical-audiological tinnitus patient protocol that included cochleovestibular testing. An additional single patient with sudden hearing loss experienced no hearing improvement on ITDT steroid therapy. Vertigo as an associated complaint was reported by 6 of 10 patients with subjective idiopathic tinnitus. Significant control of the associated vertigo complaint was reported by 5 of 10 patients. Duration of tinnitus relief in 7 of 10 patients was hours in 1 of the 7; days in another of the 7; and 1 year or more in 5 of the 7. One of the seven patients reported TC 3 months after the procedure. Complications included tympanic membrane perforation that persisted for more than 6 months in two patients and an increase in the complaint of ear blockage and tinnitus intensity in one patient. In our preliminary study, ITDT with steroid has resulted in both short- and long-term tinnitus relief in 7 of 10 patients (70%) identified to have a predominantly cochlear-type tinnitus.