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Clin. Otolaryngol. 2010, 35, 486–489

Objective:  To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of coenzyme Q10 added to systemic steroid in patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Design:  A controlled prospective study.

Setting:  Asan medical center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine.

Participants:  Between August 2007 and October 2008, the first 60 patients diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss were managed with systemic steroid treatment for 2 weeks including 5-day hospitalisation. And the second 60 patients were managed with coenzyme Q10 for 2 weeks added to previous management.

Main outcome measures:  We evaluated auditory function by pure tone audiometry and speech discrimination score. Auditory evaluations were performed before and 3 months after treatment using Siegel’s criteria. The degree of improvement in four-tone average hearing and speech discrimination score was calculated from the results before and after treatment.

Results:  The total hearing improvement rate after the treatment was 75.0% (90/120 patients) in this study. Although 47 patients (78.3%) of coenzyme Q10 group showed better hearing improvement than 43 patients (71.7%) of control group, there was no significant difference. However, the coenzyme Q10 group showed significantly higher improvement in speech discrimination score.

Conclusion:  From this study, we suggest that coenzyme Q10 may have beneficial effects in the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.