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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus




Otorinolaringologia 2003 March;53(1):37-41

language: Italian

Infusional therapy of sudden hearing loss: a comparative study

Gallina S., Giuliano D. A., Di Leo R., Gargano R., Speciale R., Restivo S.

Clinica Otorinolaringoiatrica Base Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo


Aim. One of the most important medical treatments for sudden idiopatic hearing loss consists of slow infusion of glycerol or mannitol. This kind of treatment sometimes can’t assure rapid hydrop remission. Therefore, in selected clinical cases, rapid infusional treatment could be more useful. To evaluate the speed of cochlear recovery induced by the 2 different infusional therapies, we have performed a study on 38 patients with sudden idiopatic hearing loss.
Methods. Sixteen subjects (9 males, 7 females; mean age 44.8±8.8; range 28-60 years) were treated with 500 ml of glycerol in 10% solution administered in about 6 hours (mean infusional velocity: 1.4 ml/min). Other 22 patients (9 males, 13 females; mean age±SD: 42.2±7.9; range 30-55 years) were treated with 250 ml of glycerol in 10% solution administered in 1 hour (mean infusional velocity: 4.2 ml/min). The therapy was performed from the first day of hearing loss onset and was continued for 6 days. The controls, consisting of pure tone average (PTA) evaluation by audiometry, were carried on the 2nd, 4th and 6th days.
Results. On the second day of infusional treatment, complete cochlear function recovery was present in 25% (4/16) of the subjects of the 1st group and in 86% (19/22) of the patients of the 2nd. These findings, estimated through the Fisher test, were statistically significant (p<0.05).
Conclusion. In patients suffering from sudden idiopatic hearing loss, rapid infusional therapy can assure cochlear function recovery earlier than the slow form.

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