Purpose: Vascular disorders and viral infections are considered the main causes of sudden hearing loss (SHL), although its pathogenesis remain unclear. Treatments include carbogen inhalation and lipo-prostaglandin E1 (lipo-PGE1), both of which have circulation-enhancing effects. We investigated the effectiveness of carbogen inhalation and lipo-PGE1 in SHL. Materials and Methods: This retrospective review included 202 patients with idiopathic SHL who visited our clinic within 14 days of symptom onset between January 2006 and June 2010. All patients received oral prednisolone for 10 days. Of the 202 patients, 44 received no additional treatment, 106 received additional carbogen inhalation, and 52 received additional lipo-PGE1. Hearing improvement was measured using Siegel's criteria. Results: Overall recovery rates were 67.9% in the carbogen group, 53.8% in the lipo-PGE1 group, and 52.3% in the steroid-only control group (p=0.097). Limited to type 1 and type 2 categories of Sigels's criteria, the carbogen group had a significantly higher recovery rate (53.8%) than the lipo-PGE1 group (26.9%) and the steroid-only control group (38.6%) (p=0.005). Conclusion: Carbogen inhalation added to steroid was a more effective treatment than lipo-PGE1 added to steroid or steroid alone in patients with SHL.
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