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Dexamethasone inner ear perfusion for subclinical endolymphatic hydrops

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February 1, 2009
by Herbert Silverstein, MD, FACS, Mathew Farrugia, DO, and Mark Van Ess, DO


We suggest that the term subclinical cochlear hydrops be used to describe patients presenting with aural fullness, stuffiness, or ear pressure when all other diagnoses have been excluded. We reviewed the charts of 20 patients who had presented with a chief complaint of aural fullness, stuffiness, or pressure and who underwent perfusion of the inner ear for 1 month with dexamethasone 4 or 10mg/ml. The symptoms improved in 13 (68.4%) of 19 patients after treatment. None of these patients reported a worsening of symptoms, and no patient had worse hearing after perfusion. Complications were infrequent, and patients tolerated the treatment well. Perfusion of the inner ear appears to be a safe procedure with little risk.

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