Forty-two Wistar rats were divided into four groups according to treatment: intratympanic saline, intratympanic gentamicin, intraperitoneal vitamin A after intratympanic gentamicin, and intraperitoneal N-acetylcysteine after intratympanic gentamicin. Signal-to-noise ratio and distortion product otoacoustic emissions were evaluated in all groups.
N-acetylcysteine had a significant protective effect at 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 kHz, whilst vitamin A had a significant protective effect at 2, 3, 4 and 6 kHz, as determined by the distortion product otoacoustic emission measurements. According to the signal-to-noise measurements, N-acetylcysteine had a significant protective effect at 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 kHz, whilst vitamin A had a significant protective effect at 3, 6 and 8 kHz.
Gentamicin-induced hearing loss in rats may be prevented by the concomitant use of vitamin A and N-acetylcysteine. Specifically, N-acetylcysteine appeared to have a more protective effect than vitamin A for a greater range of noise frequencies.