Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the protective effect of edaravone, a free radical scavenger, on inner-ear barotrauma (IEB) in guinea pigs, based on a hypothesis implicating free radicals in the development of IEB.
Materials and methods: One hundred and twenty-five guinea pigs were divided into a control group and a pretreatment group. After auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing, the pretreatment group received 9.0 mg/kg intraperitoneal edaravone. Animals were exposed to pressure loading and then to further ABR testing.
Results: The incidence of IEB was 62.7 per cent in the control group and 42.9 per cent in the pretreatment group (p < 0.01). The distributions of threshold elevation in the control group were 37.3 per cent (for 10 dB or less), 21.3 per cent (for 20–30 dB), 18.0 per cent (for 40–60 dB) and 23.4 per cent (for 70 dB or more), and those in the pretreatment group were 57.1 per cent, 19.1 per cent, 14.3 per cent and 9.5 per cent, for the same respective decibel levels (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: These results suggest that protective treatment with edaravone can significantly reduce both the incidence of IEB and the severity of the resultant ABR threshold elevation.