TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) added to standard medical therapy (MT) seems beneficial for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), according to a review published online Sept. 27 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Tae-Min Rhee, M.D., from the National Maritime Medical Research Center in Changwon, Korea, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare HBOT + MT with MT alone for patients with SSNHL. Data were included from three randomized clinical trials and 16 nonrandomized studies, comparing outcomes in 2,401 patients with SSNHL.

The researchers found that compared with the MT alone group, the HBOT + MT group had significantly higher pooled odds ratios for complete hearing recovery and any hearing recovery (odds ratios, 1.61 and 1.43, respectively). There was also a significantly greater absolute hearing gain in the HBOT + MT group versus the MT alone group. The benefit of HBOT was greater in groups with severe to profound hearing loss at baseline, HBOT as a salvage treatment, and a total HBOT duration of at least 1,200 minutes.

“Optimal criteria for patient selection and a standardized regimen for HBOT should be applied in routine practice, with future trials to investigate maximal treatment benefit,” the authors write.

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