Purpose of review: Inner ear delivery of medicines has been a rapidly expanding field in otolaryngology. This technique provides a minimally invasive way of managing a number of otolaryngologic diagnoses and promises to provide a therapeutic option for previously untreatable disorders. The purpose of this review is to examine the literature that has been published recently (since January of 2005) in this field and to explore how this new literature has impacted on current practices.
Recent findings: While there was a significant volume of work done in this area from 1995 to 2004, publication in this area has slowed considerably. The literature focuses on two areas: the treatment of Ménière's disease with gentamicin and the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss with steroids. The most promising area in this field, which is the development of new medicines to treat a variety of disorders, has not progressed over the last 2 years.
Summary: Recent peer-reviewed publications have not had a significant impact on the transtympanic treatment of Ménière's disease or sudden sensorineural hearing loss. We will review the current practices in these two areas, discuss the newest developments and examine how we can progress the field over the next several years.