Simvastatin and Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of subacute tinnitus: a retrospective study of 94 patients
Received 21 May 2009.
Available online 31 October 2009.
ObjectivesStudies suggest that hypercholesterolemia promotes the development of inner ear disorders such as tinnitus. However, the underlying pathomechanisms are still not clearly defined.
MethodsA retrospective study was performed to assess whether a reduction of serum cholesterol by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors may result in a relief of subacute tinnitus.
Remission rates of 58 patients were investigated after 4 months of treatment with simvastatin (40 mg). Results were compared to treatment with Ginkgo biloba (120 mg; n = 36) as control group. Differences between tinnitus score at the day of first treatment and after 4 months were used as main outcome measure.
ResultsAfter treatment with simvastatin or G biloba, tinnitus score decreased from 41.3 ± 10.4 to 37.4 ± 17.3 and from 44.7 ± 11.2 to 41.2 ± 8.7, respectively.
However, independently of the treatment regimen, differences of tinnitus scores were considered not significant.
ConclusionsAfter administration of simvastatin over 4 months, this retrospective study has shown no significant efficacy in treatment of subacute tinnitus. For a more conclusive answer, further prospective, double-blind, and placebo-controlled studies with a larger number of patients are needed.
Fig. 2. Improvement and worsening of tinnitus classified in severity groups. Tinnitus score, 0–30 mildly ill; tinnitus score, 31–46 moderately ill; tinnitus score, 47–59 markedly ill; tinnitus score 60–84, severely ill.
Corresponding author. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, D-81377 München, Germany. Tel.: +49 89 7095 0; fax: +49 89 7095 5984.