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Open Access Open Badges Original research article

The ototoxic effect of intratympanic terbinafine applied in the middle ear of rats

Mustafa Sagit1*, Mehmet Akıf Somdas1, Ferhat Korkmaz1 and Alper Akcadag2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of ENT, Kayseri Training and Research Hospital, Sanayi Mah. Atatürk Bulvarı Hastane Cad. No: 78, Kayseri, 38010, Turkey

2 Kayseri Training and Research Hospital, Subdepartment of Audiology, Kayseri, Turkey

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Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2013, 42:13  doi:10.1186/1916-0216-42-13

Published: 4 February 2013



Otomycosis is defined as an infection of the external ear canal with fungal agents. The treatment of the disease is cleansing and drying of the external ear canal, identification and treatment of any predisposing factors and application of topical antifungal agents. Terbinafine is used as an antifungal agent to treat otomycosis. We proposed to investigate the probable ototoxic effect of terbinafine solution on auditory brain stem response (ABR) and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) when applied intratympanically in the middle ear of rats.


The experiment was performed on 30 female Wistar albino rats. Thirty animals were divided into three groups of 10 animals each. 1% terbinafine solution was administered to the first group (group T). The second group (group G) was administered 40 mg/ml gentamicin solution (ototoxic control). The third group (group S) was administered saline solution (negative control). Baseline DPOAE measurements and ABR testing from the left ears were obtained from the animals in all groups under general anesthesia. Ear solutions were applied in the middle ear intratympanically with a dental needle. Treatment was initiated after baseline measurements and repeated once every two days for fifteen days.


Pre and post-treatment DPOAE responses for all tested frequencies of group T and Group S showed no statistically significant difference. However, the group G demonstrated a significant change in ABR thresholds and DPOAE responses.


Terbinafine solution is a broad spectrum antifungal agent effective in the treatment of otomycosis. The present study demonstrated that its direct administration in the middle ear of rats does not affect inner ear function as measured by ABR and DPOAE responses.

Terbinafine; Ototoxicity; Intratympanic; Otomycosis; Distortion product otoacoustic emission; Auditory brain stem responses