Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of intratympanic dexamethasone injection (ITDI) in acute tinnitus of presumed cochlear origin. Study Design: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, multicenter study. Methods: Between August 2013 and December 2015, 54 patients with unilateral tinnitus were enrolled at four different centers. Patients were assigned either to an ITDI (n = 27) or an intratympanic normal saline injection (ITNI; n = 27) group through block randomization. Intratympanic injections were administered four times over 2 weeks. At 4 weeks after initial injection, we analyzed the improvement rates of tinnitus using the tinnitus handicap Inventory (THI) and visual analogue scale (VAS) for loudness, awareness, and annoyance. We defined improvement as the reduction of more than 7 points or of more than 20% in the final THI score compared to the initial THI score. Results: The initial mean hearing thresholds and VAS and THI scores of the two groups did not differ significantly. At 4 weeks after initial injection, the mean VAS and THI scores of both groups had significantly reduced. However, the improvement rate did not differ significantly between the groups (ITDI, 51.9%; ITNI, 59.3%). Conclusion: The results indicate that ITDI might not be more effective than ITNI for the treatment of acute unilateral tinnitus. Therefore, ITDI should not be considered as the main treatment for patients presenting with acute tinnitus as the primary symptom. Level of Evidence: 1b. Laryngoscope, 128:184–188, 2018.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2014R1A1A2058141). The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
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