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Intratympanic methylprednisolone acetate versus intratympanic lidocaine in the treatment of idiopathic subjective unilateral tinnitus of less than 1-year duration: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial



Tinnitus, which can persist for many years, usually affects the quality of life. Tinnitus is challenging to manage with a variety of options including psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment. Intratympanic (IT) injections of steroids or lidocaine (LD) are two of the pharmacological treatment options used in the treatment of idiopathic tinnitus.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of IT-methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) versus IT-LD in the treatment of idiopathic subjective unilateral tinnitus of less than 1-year duration.

Participants and methods

In this randomized, double-blind, clinical study, 46 people who had been diagnosed with idiopathic subjective unilateral tinnitus were randomly divided into two groups and treated with IT-MPA acetate or IT-LD, accordingly. Improvement was evaluated in both groups 3 months after the injections and then again after 1 year. Safety was evaluated by recording the side effects of the injections.


At 3 months after the injections, the mean improvement rates (using visual analog scale) were 56.5% in the MPA group and 47.8% in the LD group. After 1 year, this declined to 30.4 and 26.1%, respectively. The difference in improvement was not statistically significant. The side effects were all minor, and were primarily reported after LD injection.


IT injections of MPA and LD result in moderate improvement in tinnitus, but no statistically significant differences between these treatments were found.


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Correspondence to Mohamed R. Ahmed.

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El Hennawi, D.E.D.M., Ahmed, M.R., Abdelkafy, W. et al. Intratympanic methylprednisolone acetate versus intratympanic lidocaine in the treatment of idiopathic subjective unilateral tinnitus of less than 1-year duration: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Egypt J Otolaryngol 33, 564–568 (2017).

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  • intratympanic injection
  • lidocaine
  • methylprednisolone acetate
  • tinnitus