Open trial of methotrexate as treatment for autoimmune hearing loss

Eric L. Matteson, David A. Fabry, George W. Facer, Charles W. Beatty, Colin L.W. Driscoll, Scott E. Strome, Thomas J. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective. To assess the efficacy of low-dose methotrexate (MTX) administered for the treatment of autoimmune hearing loss. Methods. This was a prospective, 12-month, open-label study of 17 patients with refractory autoimmune hearing loss. All patients had ongoing episodic worsening of hearing in one or both ears prior to enrollment despite traditional medical therapy. The MTX dose was 7.5-25 mg/week. Hearing loss and vertigo were evaluated at baseline and at completion of the study. Hearing improvement was defined as an improvement in pure tone threshold (PT) average of > 10 dB or an increase in speech discrimination (SD) of > 15%; worsening was defined as a decrease of > 10 dB in PT or a decrease of > 15% in SD in at least one ear. Results. MTX was well tolerated. Among patients with Meniere's disease, 5 of 9 had improvement or resolution of vertigo. Equilibrium improved in all 3 patients with Cogan's syndrome and improved in 2 out of 3 patients with idiopathic hearing loss and this symptom. According to the parameters defined above, hearing improved in 11 patients (65%), was unchanged in 4 patients (23%), and worsened in 2 patients (12%). Conclusion. Long-term low-dose MTX therapy may be a useful therapy for at least some patients who have hearing loss with a presumptively autoimmune-mediated component that is refractory to traditional therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Autoimmune hearing loss
  • Cogan's syndrome
  • Meniere's disease
  • Methotrexate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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