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Seventy adult patients with subjective tinnitus of cochlear origin were randomly assigned to receive intratympanic injection of either methylprednisolone or saline solution. The treatment protocol comprised three intratympanic injections, one per week for three weeks. Improvement in tinnitus severity was measured by a self-rated tinnitus loudness scale and by the tinnitus severity index, at baseline and two weeks after the last injection.
Data for 59 patients were available for analysis. There was no significant difference between the two treatment groups regarding age, sex, pure tone average, pretreatment tinnitus intensity, tinnitus laterality or tinnitus duration. There was a significant post-treatment improvement in self-rated tinnitus loudness scale results in both groups. No significant post-treatment changes in the tinnitus severity index individual and total scores were observed in either group. The most frequently encountered side effects were pain during injection, vertigo, a burning sensation around the ear and in the throat, and a bitter taste. A burning sensation and bitter taste were observed more often in the methylprednisolone group compared with the placebo group
The results of this study indicate that intratympanic methylprednisolone has no benefit, compared with placebo, for the treatment of subjective tinnitus of cochlear origin refractory to medical treatment.
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