Multiple studies have shown that intratympanic (IT) drug therapy can be safe and effective for treating idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL) in adults. However, beyond those broad outcomes, the literature gets a bit opaque. Among the management issues that lack consensus among researchers are optimal patient selection, the best dosage and duration of therapy and the most effective drugs to use. And, while new ISSNHL treatment guidelines have shed some light on the role IT drug therapy should play in treating the condition, questions—and controversies—still remain.
Explore this issue:January 2013
To gain more insight into how clinicians can interpret these results and use IT drug therapy optimally in their ISSHNL patients, ENTtoday spoke with several leading experts, including Richard K. Gurgel, MD, assistant professor in the division of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City, who has extensive practice experience offering IT drug therapy to his patients with the disorder.
To best understand how and why IT drugs work, it is necessary to realize that “the term ‘intratympanic’ is something of a misnomer because it only describes the route of administration,” Dr. Gurgel told ENTtoday. “What we’re really accomplishing with this modality is inner-ear perfusion of medications into the inner ear via the transtympanic route.”